Melvin Edwards presents a major survey exhibition, 'Brighter Days' Public Art Fund
Public Art Fund first showed the work of Melvin Edwards in 1991 and this summer presents the first major survey of the African-American artist’s public works at City Hall Park. Curated by Public Art Fund Curator Daniel S. Palmer, the exhibition brings together a series of large-scale sculptures created from 1970 to today to explore the legacy and impact of Edwards’ practice.
The exhibition explores two key recurring motifs—the chain and rocking chair—which carry deep personal symbolism and speak to African-American culture and history. Edwards uses chain links in different formal iterations: to suggest oppression, but also connection and linkage between generations and communities, and broken chains to evoke liberation or rupture. The sculptures resonate with the history of City Hall Park as both an African burial ground and as the site of the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence.