Melvin Edwards: Powerful Sculpture in 2-D for the Ford Foundation

Posted on August 08, 2017 by Alison Pierz

It’s not everyday that Frames and Stretchers gets to frame the work of a well-known contemporary sculptor. The Ford Foundation brought us yet another exceptional artwork this time from Melvin “Mel” Edwards. As with other Ford Foundation art we framed the work, "Searching for the Balance", using a prime float technique - handmade mulberry paper hinges applied with rice paste to archival museum board. The look was completed with a black hardwood maple moulding. This large intricate handmade work is part of a group of paper pieces that Edwards has been producing along with his sculpture since the 1970s. The handmade paper background is embedded with the cut-out black tools and other figures. 

Mel Edwards steel tools welding art print African American artist Ford FoundationMelvin Edwards' hand made paper work "Searching for the Balance" framed in the studio

Mel Edwards was born in 1937 in Houston Texas. He had his first one-person show at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in 1965 and has since been honored with more than a dozen solo exhibitions and dozens of group shows. He has had solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the L. A. County Museum and the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton. His long and successful career includes having his works represented in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts and the L. A. County Museum among others. 

Melvin Edwards steel sculpture tools African American artistEdwards' sculpture, "Steel Life" 1985-1991, showing his use of tools as materials (image courtesy of the artist's website)

His numerous awards include a Fulbright Scholarship to Zimbabwe and he currently spends several months each year working as a sculptor in Senegal. His art is heavily influenced by his African American heritage and he some of his best know works include his ongoing “Lynch Fragments” series of small scale relief sculptures. His style is semi-abstract and draws from the western Modernist tradition of welded steel. Edwards employs a variety of metal objects including hammers, scissors, locks, chains and railroad spikes for his raw material. Many of the works on paper, like the one here, illustrate these objects. When not in Africa he is based in New York City.

Melvin Edwards Mel Edwards 1960s art contemporary steel sculpture artist in studio

Edwards as  young artist in the 60s with his relief sculpture and more recently in his studio (images courtesy of Alexander Gray Associates)

The Frames and Stretchers team is thrilled with our ongoing association with the Ford Foundation and many other stellar clients. If you find yourself on the Lower East Side, please stop by our studio for a visit to see what we do first hand!

Posted in #art print, #Ford Foundation, #Mel Edwards, #Melvin Edwards

Clotilde Jiménez Celebrates Being Yourself in Colorful Collage

Posted on August 05, 2017 by Alison Pierz

One of our most recent project for the Ford Foundation included a thought provoking collage by a young artist from Hawaii, Clotilde Jiménez. We framed the work titled, “French Tip Lookin Ass” using a prime float technique - handmade mulberry paper hinges applied with rice paste to archival museum board. The framing was completed with a black hardwood maple moulding. This mixed media work is typical of the artist’s style. Jiménez often depicts male figures playing with gender boundaries and “French Tip” is reminiscent of other works showing boys or men wearing female accessories.

Clotilde Jiménez Hawaiin artist collage nail polishStascia with the “French Tip Lookin Ass” framed and finished in the studio

Jiménez was born in Honolulu in 1990. His practice is currently based in London, where he is an MFA candidate in the painting department of the Slade School of Fine Art at University College. He has been awarded numerous residencies including the Nesnadny & Schwartz Visiting Curator Program from MOCA Cleveland, the Artist in Residence at Fljóstunga, Reykholt, Iceland and the Slade's London Intensive. He has achieved remarkable status for an artist so early in his career and his work is included in the collections of The Orlando Museum of Art and the University Hospitals, Cleveland, along with the Ford Foundation.

Clotilde Jiménez Hawaiian artist collage black latino
Two other works by the artist: "Fruity Boys" and "Self-portrait in Pink Underwear"

Jiménez, whose background is black and Latino creates art that celebrates marginalized peoples while simultaneously exploring the boundaries of race, gender, and sexuality. His work is subjective and stems from his personal worldview, but he strives to explore universal themes and what it means to just be as a human in our culture. It comes as no surprise that an organization like the Ford Foundation would support and collect Jiménez and his work. Their mission is one of inclusiveness and opportunity for all and he is an artist with a vision that is relatable for so many.

Artist Clotidle JiménezArtist Clotilde Jiménez spending time at an opening (image courtesy of the artist's website)

Frames and Stretchers, along with our partners at Art Delivery Van enjoy an ongoing relationship with the Ford Foundation and it’s always a pleasure to work with the high quality art they bring to our studio.

Posted in #Clotilde Jiménez, #collage, #Ford Foundation, #Hawaiian artist

Cultural Critique and Powerful Imagery in the Work of Agus Suwage

Posted on June 01, 2017 by Alison Pierz

Frames and Stretchers recently had the opportunity to frame a powerful large work by internationally renowned Indonesian artist Agus Suwage. This job was the latest in our continuing association with the Ford Foundation, a client who always brings us incredibly interesting art to work with. We framed the massive watercolor, titled “Icono Fascismo II”, depicting fundamentalists as puppets on a stage, in white maple with spacers. The artwork was floated on museum board using Japanese handmade mulberry paper hinges and archival rice paste. The scale of the piece required that we use UV plexi and build a suitably grand strainer.

Agus Suwage Indonesian Art painting political art Ford Foundation watercolor

Agus Suwards “Icono Fascismo II” framed and ready for delivery

 Agus Suwage is considered to be one of the most important contemporary Indonesian artists working today. He was born in 1959 and received his Masters of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the Bandung Institute of Technology in Bandung, Indonesia. He is a multidisciplinary artist working with drawing, painting, sculpture and installation. His themes include an interest in mortality, politics, man’s relation to animals, portraits and religion. His use of appropriation - borrowing ideas from his own works as well as other contemporary artists - relates to his interest in the idea of the cycle of life and death. This is heavily influenced by Java’s Hindu-Buddhist traditions. As a Christian converted to Islam, Suwage has adopted a multi-cultural approach and his work often critiques intolerance and attempts to impose monolithic structures on society.

Agus Suwage Indonesian painter watercolor political art Ford Foundation hinging Japanese paper

The hinging process in our studio

 “Icono Fascismo II” addresses these issues and is in keeping with The Ford Foundation's mission of inclusiveness and opportunity for all. Our most recent project for the Ford Foundation required us to frame a dozen images from a 1970s project called “The Peace Portfolio”. We were thrilled to once again get to work with such a worthy organization and their collection. Suwage is represented here in New York by Tyler Rollins Fine Art. Delivery for this museum worthy work of art will be by our collaborative partner, Art Delivery Van. You can follow them on facebook at

Agus Suwage Indonesian artist watercolor painting rice paper hinges

Detail of a Mulberry paper hinge being applied to support the artwork

Posted in #Agus Suwage, #Ford Foundation, #Frames and Stretchers, #Indonesian Artist, #political art

The Ford Foundation Preserves a Glimpse of History

Posted on November 26, 2016 by Erick Rios

The Ford Foundation is an organization that challenges inequality worldwide. Furthermore, through grants and programs they work to eliminate prejudices against women, economical rules, and inaccessibility. Their grants provide support for ethnic and racial justice, free expression and creativity, youth development and more.

A Ford Foundation artwork being floated using Japanese paper and wheat paste at Frames and Stretchers in the Lower East Side.

An artwork being floated using Japanese paper and wheat paste.

Recently, they came to us with a framing project of historical pictures and artifacts from the Civil Rights Movement. Some of these included original prints from the Black Star Agency. The Black Star Agency is a photography agency that captured many historical moments of the Civil Rights Movement. They photographed iconic Civil Rights Leaders including Julian Bond, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and Stokeley Carmichael. Some Black Star photos that we framed included Martin Luther King Jr. accepting his Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. King being arrested in Montgomery, Alabama and shots of Medgar Evers' funeral. Some additional artifacts include waiting room signs from the apartheid era and photos of the March on Washington. Additionally political comics and drawings were also included.

 A Frames and Stretcher employee holding a Civil Rights era poster from the Ford Foundation.

"I Am a Man" original poster from 1968.

As far as feminism and equality goes, there were some monumental artifacts included in this framing project. Notably, Margaret Sanger and  Angela Davis had posters and pieces supporting their respective movements. Margaret Sanger's founding of the modern day Planned Parenthood and historic push for accessible birth control cemented her as an important part of feminist history. The Ford Foundation has an original print promoting the right of women to control their bodies. Angela Davis has a "Freedom for Angela Davis" poster included as well. Davis was a prominent figure in the late '60s and '70s for her outspoken political views. Additionally she was known for her push to advance the fair treatment of people regardless of class or race.

Ford Foundation photos of Martin Luther King during the Civil Rights Era by Black Star Agency  and custom framed by Frames and Stretchers in the Lower East Side.

A few photos of Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement.

Marlene Dumas is a South African artist who has made history. To date, Marlene Dumas' art brings the highest price of any living female artist in history.  Dumas' portrait of Alan Turing, an important WWII code breaker, is included. He was a crucial part of the code breaking team that intercepted Nazi messages. The interception of these messages were pivotal in ending the war early and saving lives. Turing was also a brilliant computer scientist and is considered the founder of modern computer science and artificial intelligence. Marlene Dumas painted him and many other historical figures including Naomi Campbell, Osama Bin Laden and James Baldwin.

A Frames and Stretcher employee holding Marlene Dumas' portrait of Alan Turing that was floated using Japanese paper and wheat paste and custom framed at Frames and Stretchers on the Lower East Side.

Marlene Dumas's portrait of Alan Turing.

We floated the photographs in blackhardwood frames using Japanese paper and wheat paste. The glazing choice was Conservation Clear Acrylic. Overall, the Ford Foundation stands for and fights for the human rights of people all over the world, regardless of their background. More info can be found about their grant programs and work on their website.

Ford Foundation photos of Civil Rights leaders Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. custom framed by Frames and Stretchers in the Lower East side.

Bernadette holds finished custom framed photographs of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr.

Posted in Alan Turing, Angela Davis, apartheid, civil rights, clemente building, Coretta Scott King, custom framing, end apartheid, ford foundation, frames and stretchers, human rights, lower east side, margaret sanger, Marlene Dumas, Martin Luther King Jr., nelson mandela, Rosa Parks, stokeley carmichael, tri state area