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Melvin Edwards

Painted Sculptures

1968–1990s

Luxor-Top, 1983, Painted welded steel

Luxor-Top, 1983

Painted welded steel

40.50h x 42w x 37d in (102.87h x 106.68w x 93.98d cm)

Ntrytry, 1981, Painted welded steel and chain

Ntrytry, 1981

Painted welded steel and chain

57h x 132w x 60.75d in (144.78h x 335.28w x 154.31d cm)

Augusta, 1974, Painted welded steel

Augusta, 1974

Painted welded steel

66h x 61.75w x 56.50d in (167.64h x 156.85w x 143.51d cm)

Felton, 1974, Painted welded steel in 2 parts

Felton, 1974

Painted welded steel in 2 parts

Part 1: 23h x 95w x 80d in
Part 2: 59.75h x 68w x 64.5d in

Mozambique, c. 1974, Painted welded steel

Mozambique, c. 1974

Painted welded steel

92h x 71w x 16.50d in (233.68h x 180.34w x 41.91d cm)

Tan Ton Dyminns, 1974, Painted welded steel in 2 parts

Tan Ton Dyminns, 1974

Painted welded steel in 2 parts

Part 1: 84.5h x 36w x 37d in
Part 2: 66.36h x 78.5w x 34d in

Dancing in Nigeria, 1974–78

Dancing in Nigeria, 1974–78
Painted welded steel
Dimensions variable
Collection Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AK. 

Across the Limpopo, c. 1974

Across the Limpopo, c. 1974
Painted steel
60h x 156w x 66d in (152.40h x 396.24w x 167.64d cm)
Collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT.

Asafokra, 1990 Paint on welded steel

Asafokra, 1990
Paint on welded steel
96h x 168w x 120d in (243.84h x 426.72w x 304.80d cm)
 

Description

Melvin Edwards
Painted Sculptures
1968–1990s

Melvin Edwards created his first painted sculptures in 1968 during a summer residency in Minneapolis, MN. After he left the city, under the aegis of the celebrated museum director Martin Friedman, these chromatic works comprised one of the Walker Art Center’s first solo outdoor sculpture exhibitions. Later that same year, Edwards joined the Smokehouse Associates in New York, which was founded by fellow artist and friend William T. Williams. Together with other members of the collective, he painted vivid, abstract murals in Harlem, transforming vacant sites in an effort to revitalize the neighborhood.

Adapting the color and geometry of these projects, Edwards’ primarily monochromatic painted sculptures harness the potential of paint to establish relationships between disparate elements while introducing the unexpected. These large-scale works are in multiple museum collections, including Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT, as well as on display outside Bethune Tower in Harlem, NY.