Explore the Era

Delve into the postwar Los Angeles art world in this online archive, which provides additional material related to the exhibitions on view at the Getty Center. Learn about hipsters and happenings, and the venues across the city where all the action took place through images from the archives and first-hand accounts with the artists.

Inside and Out

Inside and Out

Inside and Out, 1964, Melvin Edwards. Welded steel. 12 x 8 3/4 x 5 3/4 in. Collection of Susan and David Lawrence. © Melvin Edwards

Inside and Out, Afrophoenix 1 (1963), 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.

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Works of Art

  • Sonday

    Sonday, 1964, Melvin Edwards. Welded steel. 12 1/2 x 7 x 7 1/2 in. Collection of and © Melvin Edwards. Photo by Kristopher McKay

  • Afrophoenix

    Afrophoenix 1, 1963, Melvin Edwards. Welded steel. 12 1/2 x 9 1/2 x 4 in. The Art Institute of Chicago, restricted gift of Stanley M. Freehling, 1997.411. © Melvin Edwards. Photography © The Art Institute of Chicago

Explore the Archive

  • Video: Melvin Edwards

    Video: Melvin Edwards speaks about his work, July 2010

  • Melvin Edwards, 1965

    Melvin Edwards in January 1965. Image courtesy of Melvin Edwards