Coming soon to the Christian-Green Gallery

Melvin Edwards:

Wire(d) and Chain(ed)


September 16, 2022 - December 10, 2022

Curated by Phillip Townsend, Curator of Art



Melvin Edwards: Wire(d) and Chain(ed) brings to the fore two of the artist’s signature motifs—wire and chain—in his works. These motifs literally explore the concept of materiality, but ‘wired’ and ‘chained’ also serve as conceptual frames which allude to energy, movement, and connection as it relates to history of the African Diaspora and the artist’s biography. Spanning the trajectory of the artist’s nearly 50-year career, the wall reliefs, free-standing steel sculpture, and works on paper demonstrate the artist’s mastery of abstraction and his ability to manipulate industrial materials to articulate his personal narrative and to address sociopolitical issues, including race.

The exhibition features abstract welded reliefs—composed of chains, nails, spikes, bolts, and similar utilitarian objects—from Edwards’ renowned Lynch Fragments series, free-standing sculpture, and rarely seen drawings that reinforce the relationship between material and image which lie at the foundation of Edwards’s practice. The chains and steel scraps illustrated in the works on paper capture the kineticism found in Edwards’s sculpture and demonstrate the artist’s ability to articulate his distinct visual language in both two- to three-dimensional forms.

While tracing the breadth of Edwards’ life and career, Melvin Edwards: Wire(d) and Chain(ed) draws attention to the artist’s approach to technique, medium, and content. The exhibition, with its focus on materiality, also highlights the malleable attributes of wire and chain and demonstrates how material can be enough to capture the energies of a particular moment and sufficiently communicate realities and ideas.

Melvin Edwards: Wire(d) and Chain(ed) is curated by Phillip Townsend, Curator of Art at the Art Galleries at Black Studies.

Opening Reception: September 16, 2022