A key member of the group of artists associated with West Coast Light and Space, Fred Eversley spent his formative years as an engineer in the aerospace industry before developing a series of processes and specialized tools that enabled him to produce the first of his iconic Parabolic Lens sculptures in the late 1960s. The lenses, which Eversley continues to refine and elaborate today, constitute a sustained body of research and investigation that has few equals in the postwar era. As visual and metaphysical focal points, they are immersive and enigmatic objects that are focused in presentation but cosmic in scope. Eversley’s ability to harness the naturally occurring energies brought into relation by the parabola results in effects of light and color that are responsive to a multitude of real-time factors: the ambient conditions of the viewing space; the position of the viewer’s body; and the psychological qualities and philosophical considerations that are inseparable from perception itself.
Recent Sculpture features constellations of unique Parabolic Lenses made over the last two years in New York; Eversley returned to live and work on the East Coast full-time in 2019 after leaving the Venice, California studio he had previously occupied for five decades. The exhibition also includes a group of rare horizontal Parabolic Lenses whose subtleties of pooled color provide a dynamic evolution of Eversley’s vocabulary and a different physical perspective by which to experience his concerns with energy. Taken together, the works in the show find Eversley exploring new chromatic relationships and the broadest spectrum of transparency and luminosity. As in any far-reaching study, his decision to hold some variables constant—size, shape, basic materiality—allows him to push against the boundaries of the known. Within the defined parameters of each lens, he creates the potential for a microcosm of the visible universe to emerge: a set of phenomena whose universality is always rooted in the intimate, kinetic encounter between an abstract, primary form and its human subject.
Fred Eversley (b. 1941, Brooklyn, New York) has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts (2017); Art + Practice, Los Angeles (2016); National Academy of Science, Washington, D.C. (1981); Palm Springs Art Museum (1977); Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California (1976); and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1970). Over the last fifty years, he has also presented solo shows at the National Academy of Science, Washington, D.C. (1981); Oakland Museum of California (1977); and Santa Barbara Museum (1976). Recent group exhibitions include Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2020); Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963–1983, multiple venues throughout the U.S. (2018–2020); Space Shifters, Hayward Gallery, London (2018); Water & Power, The Underground Museum, Los Angeles (2018); Notations: Minimalism in Motion, Philadelphia Museum of Art (2015); DYNAMO, A century of light and movement in art 1913-2013, Réunion des Musées Les Nationaux-Grand Palais, Paris (2013); Now Dig This!: Art and Black Los Angeles, 1960–1980, MoMA PS1, Long Island City, New York (2012) and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2011); and Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970, Getty Foundation, Los Angeles (2011). Eversley’s work is included in over forty public collections worldwide. He lives and works in New York.