New York

Melvin Edwards

Whitney Museum of American Art

Melvin Edwards negotiates a supposed gap between geometrical minimalism and anti-form. Robert Morris has already accomplished this and in new field painting it is a commonplace—loose handling spread over a grid structure. Therefore, the criticism leveled is directed against the Whitney Museum for so obviously sponsoring the career of a young artist over those of the many artists who are responsible for having brought that style into being—Hesse, Andre, Flavin, Rosenquist, to name but a few. Edwards rejects the floor as the primary structural support (admitting too of the modish eclipse of the vertical monolith) and deals instead in open transparent planes of barbed wire which interconnect ceiling and wall convergences or which dangle in curtain-like expressivity from the ceiling. The clearest exposition of Edwards’ premises occurs in two pyramidal works. The plane of a single pyramidal face rises either to a point in the ceiling from the floor or conversely it descends from the ceiling to the floor molding.

Robert Pincus-Witten