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         MELVIN  EDWARDS     
         born 1937

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Melvin Edwards's popular work has ranged from large outdoor public sculptures to the challenging small pieces in his ongoing series Lynch Fragments. Started in 1963 in response to the turbulence of the civil rights era, the series tackles such social issues as slavery, racism, and the African American experience. Edwards combines found steel objects—scrap metal, chains, spikes, hooks, handcuffs, and farming equipment—to create sculptures whose individual components and whole forms carry multiple meanings from oppression and enslavement to the physicality and strength of human bonds. Edwards, whom ARTnews described as having the ability "to confront the good, bad, and the ugly of life, and to somehow construct a positive whole from the many pieces," is pictured here working on Restless (1994)—one of the more than two hundred pieces that make up Lynch Fragments.

William E. Sauro (1923–2001)
Gelatin silver print, 1990 (printed 2002)
Published February 1995
Courtesy New York Times Pictures

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