Festivals, Funerals, and New Life presents new and recent works by renowned sculptor Melvin Edwards alongside rarely exhibited historical works and pieces completed with the artist’s late wife, poet and activist Jayne Cortez. Sculptures and installations composed with industrial steel, chain, and machine parts broadly reflect Edwards’s engagement with European neocolonialism, histories of race, labor, violence and African diaspora. Bringing works from the 1970s into conversation with new and recent works, the exhibition affirms a continuity of themes, concerns, and commitments throughout Edwards’s career, spanning the Civil Rights Movement and continuing through recent and ongoing social justice movements.
Curated by Ian Alden Russell
Image: Melvin Edwards, Steel Life (After Winter), 2017. Welded steel. © 2017 Melvin Edwards/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy Alexander Gray Associates, New York.
Considered to be one of the artist’s most important bodies of work, Carrie Mae Weems’ Kitchen Table Series interweaves themes of race, class, gender, friendship, love, loss, power, and motherhood. The intimate and often political content of these images finds common ground around the kitchen table, transcending the separation of domestic and civic space. First exhibited in 1990, the Kitchen Table Series set the stage for future contemporary artists to explore issues of identity.
Curated by Jo-Ann Conklin with Rica Maestas
Image: Carrie Mae Weems, Untitled from the Kitchen Table Series, 1990. Gelatin silver print.