Melvin Edwards features in 'Revisiting 5 + 1'
More than 50 years since the historic '5+1' exhibition at Stony Brook University, 'Revisiting 5+1' reflects and builds on the work and impact of its artists. Originally platforming the work of six Black male artists, 'Revisiting 5+1' also includes the work of six Black female artists. The exhibition honours and explores the era of student protest and racial justice on Stony Brook's campus which fostered the original show.
Archival materials and photographs from '5+1' are on display alongside works by the redefined group of artists. The 1969 show was organised by Frank Bowling at the request of art critic and Stony Brook Professor of Art History Lawrence Alloway, to coincide with the first semester of courses in a new Black Studies Programme. The course was in itself the product of student activism, the spirit of which is echoed in the platforming of the Black women artists whos contribution to debates surrounding art and the politics of Black identity was historically neglected.
In 'Revisiting 5+1' artists Vivian Browne, Adger Cowans, Mary Lovelace O'Neal, Howardena Pindell, Betye Saar, Alma Thomas, and Mildred Thompson join Frank Bowling, Melvin Edwards, Daniel LaRue Johnson, Al Loving, Jack Whitten, and William T. Williams.