Fred Eversley: Four Decades, 1970-2010
Fred Eversley had his first solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum in 1970. Since then he has had numerous museum exhibitions but until now, never a solo exhibition / retrospective in an L.A. gallery. We are proud to present a four-decade retrospective of Fred Eversley’s sculpture as part of Pacific Standard Time.
Related Museum Exhibitions: As part of Pacific Standard Time, Eversley’s work is being included in two museum exhibitions – “Crosscurrents in LA painting and sculpture 1950-1970” at the J. Paul Getty Museum and “Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980” at the Hammer Museum.
In 1977, Eversley became the first artist-in-residence at the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum. He has also been awarded several prestigious international commissions for site-specific installations. His art is in the permanent collection of 35 museums (including the Whitney and Guggenheim) and he has executed 20 large-scale public artwork commissions. Eversley was honored with the “Lorenzo di Medici” 1st prize for sculpture at the 2001 Biennale Internazionale Dell’ Arte Contemporanea di Firenze in Florence, Italy.
Fred Eversley was born in 1941 in New York, USA. When Eversley launched his career in the late 1960’s, he abandoned a lucrative career as the youngest engineer on the Apollo space program in Houston. Eversley differed from the Minimalists that were so influential at the time because he was less interested in committing himself to the simplicity of form. Instead, he emphasized the energy fluctuations of physics and metaphysics as well as the representation of interactive properties. Eversley sought to express his concerns about energy, and the possibility of transforming solar energy into electrical power impelled him into an exploration of the parabola and parabolic shapes as energy trapping structures. In fact, all of the three-dimensional works operate according to the optical principles of physics that determine the properties of lenses and mirrors, as he uses a process that involves spinning liquid plastic around a vertical axis until the centrifugal forces create a concave surface. Even entirely solid forms appear to melt away either at the edges or through their centers.
Eversley aimed to combine the inherent beauty and unique physical properties of a material object with the concept of mathematical purity and also encourage the participatory role of the spectator, in turn creating live kinetic sculptures. The pieces are alluring and seductive, drawing the viewer into them by reflecting back the image of the spectator. The resulting illusion is one of personal involvement of the spectator with the work of art, which is different from the traditional distance separating the viewer from the art object.
“I was interested in spectator interaction. Some of my earlier pieces generated an external parabola shape. I began to read all the literature I could find on the parabola and paraboloid shapes. I studied these man- made forms as well as their forms in nature, their physical and optical properties, and thought a lot about their implications for our society. For instance, the parabolic shape is contained in a suspension bridge parallel beam light, acoustical and microwave reflectors, even in sand dunes created by the wind! Efficient harnessing of solar energy is also linked to forms of parabolic contours as part of orbiting satellite power stations. Since the external shape of this series was simple in comparison with all of the internal optical and color effects, the spectator was immediately drawn into studying the internal and imaging phenomena and utheir interaction with himself and the environment.”
Whether the medium is cast polyester, stainless steel, acrylic or bronze, Eversley’s scientific and aesthetic understanding of form continues to prevail, as does his desire to encapsulate parabolic structures and represent a formal manifestation of the principles of energy and kinetics.
Eversley, also an accomplished chef, was one of 200 prominent artists featured in the California Artists Cookbook produced by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Fred Eversley holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) and maintains studios in Soho, New York City and Venice Beach, California.