After moving from Los Angeles to New York in 1967, Melvin Edwards began a series of works on paper that featured silhouettes of materials he used in his sculptures and installations, including chain and barbed wire. Often rendered in bright colors, these evocative images have a gestural delicacy and lightness that belies the function of the implements they describe. In contrast to these earlier compositions, Edwards's drawings from the 1980s are rendered in dark grays and black. Somber compositions, like this untitled 1982 work, their grim monotone outlines of chains invite viewers to reflect on the material's use as a tool of bondage and oppression.
2021: South South, Alexander Gray Associates, Germantown, New York