Peer into Melvin Edwards’ world and you will find a place of possibility, an environment where found objects expand—both formally and conceptually—beyond the boundaries of their given form. Look closer and you may even catch a glimpse of Africa in his dense, abstract assemblages and planar, geometric installations. His works are meant to move, to exist, and to be seen in different contexts. Now, you can see his work for yourself at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, beginning Thursday, March 5th at 10:00 AM.
Edwards has lived, taught, and traveled on the world’s second-largest continent since the early 1970s, creating relationships with artists, students, and politicians in sixteen different countries. In doing so, he has discovered an almost genetic relationship between his work and that of African smiths and carvers, past and present. His newest exhibit explores this relationship and examines the formal, familial, and conceptual affinities between Edward’s work and that produced by African artists and artisans.
Edward’s great-great-great-grandfather was a west African blacksmith and the continent has, in his words, “always been there for me in one way or another.” Yet, this is not a simple story of artistic influence. Edwards’ style did not change because of his varied engagements with the continent and its people. Rather, in the words of the artist himself, these interactions “corroborated” something deeper and more profound: the pre-existing connective tissue that bonds African and African American art.
This exhibit, Melvin Edwards: Crossroads, explores these creative ties, and—for the first time—seeks to make African sense of an American artist. The exhibit allows viewers to visualize the relationships between African and American abstraction while breaking down the artificial art historical-geographical silos that have hindered our ability to understand the true story of human creativity and connection.
This exhibit will be on display through July 5, 2020. Admission prices will vary and is free on Thursday to Louisiana residents. For additional information, please visit ogdenmuseum.org or call (504) 539-9650.
If you feel like escaping Brookstone Park Apartments in Covington, Louisiana for the day, this event is a perfect opportunity to do just that! Trust us when we say that there’s no harm in getting out and exploring the greater community.
Thursday, March 5, 2020—10:00 AM
Event Venue Location:
Ogden Museum of Southern Art
925 Camp Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130