Melvin Edwards’ MoMA PS1 Exhibition: “Now Dig This!”

Melvin Edwards in January 1965

Melvin Edwards in January 1965

Related to my last post about African-American identity within art history and in contemporary art, I stumbled across this New York Times article about contemporary sculptor Melvin Edwards and his current exhibition at MoMA’s PS1: “Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960–1980.”

The article’s author, Carol Kino, writes:

His longtime friend and supporter Lowery Stokes Sims, a curator at the Museum of Arts and Design, pointed out that when Mr. Edwards arrived in New York, Minimalism was the prevailing trend, and “the situation for black artists became inherently politicized,” she said. “There was a debate about whether black art should be abstract or figurative. The assumption was that if you made abstract art then you were copping out, that you were choosing to be with the mainstream.”
Yet at the same time, the Lynch Fragments were content-laden enough to be “tough stuff for the art world to take in.”

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