On View at the Getty Center: Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970
Afrophoenix 1, Inside and Out (1964), and Sonday (1964) belong to a major series of welded metal sculptures entitled Lynch Fragments, which sculptor Melvin Edwards began in 1963 at the height of the civil rights movement in America. Hung on the wall, these compact works incorporate chains, cogs, tools, and welded metal bars, which jut dramatically out into the space of the viewer. The intimate scale, balance, and symmetrical elements of each Lynch Fragment relates them to religious icons, and their political content—suspended chains reminiscent of bondage and hanging—contributes to their power. Despite their suggestiveness, the Lynch Fragments remain examples of abstract sculpture and speak to Edwards’s attraction to cubism.