Over the past five decades, American sculptor Melvin Edwards (born 1937) has produced a remarkable body of work redefining the modernist tradition of welded sculpture. Working primarily in welded steel, Edwards is perhaps best known for his Lynch Fragment series of small-scale reliefs born out of the social and political turmoil of the civil rights movement. Beyond the Lynch Fragments, Edwards’s oeuvre encompasses larger freestanding sculptures, installations, and public projects, along with a wealth of drawings, studies, and prints, and he has worked in places ranging from Los Angeles and New York to Senegal and other African nations.
Published on the occasion of a major retrospective organized by the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Melvin Edwards: Five Decades presents a richly illustrated and deeply researched examination of Edwards’s career. Featuring full-color plates of more than ninety works and numerous unpublished photographs from the artist’s personal archive, it reveals as never before Edwards’s contributions to contemporary art and the legacy of his commitment to socially expressive abstraction. Essays by exhibition curator Catherine Craft and scholars Alex Potts and Tobias Wofford explore Edwards’s formidable body of work in relation to his forerunners and contemporaries in modern sculpture, his response to the civil rights movement and ongoing support of social justice, and his engagement with artists, writers, musicians, and artisans in the United States and abroad. A compilation of conversations between Craft and Edwards offers insights into the artist’s working process, and Leigh A. Arnold’s illustrated catalogue – the first of its kind – documents Edwards’s extensive career in public sculpture. A chronology, bibliography, exhibition history, and checklist provide up-to-date references for understanding and appreciating Edwards’s extraordinary achievements.
Editor: Catherine Craft; Authors: Catherine Craft, Alex Potts, Tobias Wofford, and Leigh A. Arnold; foreword by Jeremy Strick.
© 2015 Nasher Sculpture Center.
Approx. 12.25 X 10.25 X .88 in. | 208 pages.
98 color plates; 56 black and white illustrations.
Cover: Paper over board hard cover with silkscreen.
Jacket: 4-color printed matte paper with foil stamp.