NYU Black Renaissance Noire NYU Black Renaissance Noire V. 16.1 - Page 136

Éclair et Chaîne, 2009 Melvin Edwards in the Manufactures Sénégalaises des arts décoratifs, Tapestry (198.1 x 292.1 cm) Material Fiber Collection of the artist. l Melvin Edwards in front of Diamniadio, 2010 FESTMAN III, Dakar, December 2010 Tapestry Material Fiber Collection of the artist. Adama, Edwards’ housekeeper, enters the studio. She hands me a plate with a tiny glass of ataya. The glass burns my fingers. A thick layer of foam covers the dark liquid. I like the contrast of the bitter green tea with the softness of the foam. The sweet taste of sugar isn’t apparent yet. Today, Edwards’ tapestries are the syncretism of decades of his thoughts and approach to his artistic, political and spiritual commitments he has developed over five decades. The size, the three-dimensional aspect, and his minimalist aesthetic concept in art combining abstraction and figuration are present in these works. “Éclair et Chaîne” (2009), Edwards’ first tapestry was displayed at the Museum of Art and Design in New York in 2010. It incorporates references to chains and lightning, two important symbols in Edwards’ aesthetic language. During a visit to Thiès, he explained