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O auroras tem o prazer de apresentar a individual de Melvin Edwards no Museu da República, Rio de Janeiro, de 17 de agosto a 27 de outubro de 2019. A exposição mostra uma série de trabalhos produzidos pelo artista no Brasil no início deste ano. Além de grandes esculturas, podem ser vistas também instalações de arame farpado, Fragmentos Linchados e obras sobre papel. Em suas esculturas, ainda que formalmente abstratas, conseguimos reconhecer ferramentas agrícolas – memória de sua infância no sul dos Estados Unidos – e correntes que podem remeter, segundo o artista, aos elos de conexão entre as pessoas. As obras ocupam o espaço de maneira dinâmica, apoiando-se no chão ou penduradas no teto, com o tradicional alinhamento dos Fragmentos Linchados na segunda sala do auroras. Outro material simbólico usado desde o início dos anos 1970 é o arame farpado, com o qual Melvin executa seus “desenhos no espaço”. Essas obras criam novos campos dentro da arquitetura, onde coexistem abstração e a concretude das questões sociais que o material carrega. Esse projeto explora diferentes vertentes do trabalho de Melvin Edwards, criando um leque de raciocínios desenvolvido pelo artista ao longo dos seus quase sessenta anos de pesquisa.

Melvin Edwards (Houston, Texas - 1937) é professor e artista plástico norte-americano que atua desde 1965, quando apresentou sua primeira exposicão individual no Museu de Arte de Santa Bárbara, na Califórnia. Formado pela University of Southern California, foi o primeiro artista afro-americano a realizar uma mostra individual no Whitney Museum of American Art (Nova York), em 1970. Sua pesquisa a respeito da cultura visual do ‘terceiro mundo’ também o levou ao Marrocos, Brasil, China e Cuba a partir do recebimento do prêmio Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, especificamente, o Fulbright Fellowship to Zimbabwe. Foi professor entre os anos de 1964 e 2002, chegando a ministrar aulas na Rutgers University, de 1972 a 2002, e na Connecticut University. Em 2014, recebeu o título de doutorado honorário do Massachusetts College of Art, em Boston. Dentre as individuais, destacam-se Melvin Edwards: Fragmentos Linchados no Museu de Arte de São Paulo (São Paulo, 2018); Melvin Edwards: Five Decades no Columbus Museum of Art (2016) e no Nasher Sculpture Center (2015); Museu Afro-Brasil (São Paulo, 2008), Melvin Edwards Sculpture: A Thirty-Year Retrospective 1963 – 1993, uma retrospectiva itinerante no Nueuberger Museum of Art (1993), The Art Museum da Florida e no Hood Museum of Art (1994); Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, 1968). Participou da 11ª Bienal do Mercosul, (Porto Alegre, 2018); Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, Tate Modern (London, 2017); All the World’s Futures, La Biennale di Venezia (Veneza, 2015); African-American Artists and Abstraction, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Havana 2014); Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles, 1960-1980, MoMA PS1 (Nova York, 2012); Valencia Biennial (Valencia, 2007); Ante America (Colombia, Venezuela, EUA, Costa Rica, 1992). Sua obra está presente em importantes coleções ao redor do mundo como a do Metropolitan Museum of Art (Nova York); MoMA – Museum of Modern Art (Nova York); Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles); Museu Afro-Brasil (São Paulo); Museum of Fine Arts (Houston); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco); Tate Modern (Londres); Whitney Museum of American Art (Nova York), entre outros.

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auroras is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new work by Melvin Edwards from August 17 to October 27, 2019 at Museu da República, Rio de Janeiro. The exhibition shows a series of works produced by the artist in Brazil earlier this year. The works on view illustrate the full breadth of Edwards’ practice. Born in Texas in 1937, Edwards came of age during a time of intense racial segregation. His abstract sculptures often feature recognizable agricultural implements and tools, which recall his childhood in the southwestern United States, as well as chains, railroad spikes, and scrap metal. In these new works—all created from locally sourced materials—Edwards capitalizes on the potential of these objects to evoke histories of slavery, violence, industry, and creativity while simultaneously reflecting on African cultures and their development in Brazil. Like Edwards’ sculptures, his new installations draw on the multivalent nature of materials, imbuing barbed wire and other elements with wide-ranging narratives from agriculture to oppression. Using wire to "draw in space,” the artist invents a disembodied architecture in which abstraction coexists with historical and societal concerns. Distinct from Melvin Edwards’ 2018 exhibition at MASP, which centered on his series of Lynch Fragments, the exhibition at auroras celebrates the artist’s extraordinary range as a sculptor by foregrounding his politically engaged approach to abstraction through a diverse range of sculptures, installations, and works on paper. Communicating complex sociopolitical issues, Edwards’ new work has added resonance and urgency in our present moment.

The exhibition is organized in collaboration with Alexander Gray Associates.

 

Melvin Edwards (Houston, Texas - 1937) is an American artist and professor working since early 1960’s, when he presented his first solo exhibition at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in California. A graduate of the University of Southern California, he was the first African- American artist to have an individual show at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1970. His research on the visual culture of the 'third world' also took him to Morocco, Brazil, China and Cuba from the receipt of the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, specifically the Fulbright Fellowship to Zimbabwe. He taught between 1964 and 2002, teaching at Rutgers University from 1972 to 2002, and at Connecticut University. In 2014, he received an honorary doctorate from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. Solo shows include Melvin Edwards: Lynch Fragments at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (São Paulo, 2018), Melvin Edwards: Five Decades at the Columbus Museum of Art (2016) and the Nasher Sculpture Center (2015); Melvin Edwards Sculpture: A Thirty-Year Retrospective 1963 - 1993, an itinerant retrospective at the Nueuberger Museum of Art (1993), The Art Museum of Florida and the Hood Museum of Art (1994) ; Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, 1968). He took part in the 11th Mercosul Biennial, (Porto Alegre, 2018); Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, Tate Modern (London, 2017); All the World's Futures, The Venice Biennale (Venice, 2015); African-American Artists and Abstraction, National Museum of Fine Arts (Havana 2014); Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles, 1960-1980, MoMA PS1 (New York, 2012); Valencia Biennial (Valencia, 2007); Ante America (Colombia, Venezuela, USA, Costa Rica, 1992). His work is present in important collections around the world, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York); MoMA - Museum of Modern Art (New York); Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles); Afro-Brazilian Museum (São Paulo); Museum of Fine Arts (Houston); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco); Tate Modern (London); Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), among others.

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