Fred Eversley (b. 1941, Brooklyn, New York) is a key figure in the development of contemporary art from Los Angeles during the postwar period. Now based in New York after living and working in Venice Beach, California for fifty years, Eversley synthesizes elements from several art historical movements associated with Southern California, including Light and Space, though his work is the product of a pioneering vision all his own, informed by lifelong studies on the timeless principles of light, space, time, and gravity. Prior to his becoming an artist, Eversley was an engineer who collaborated with NASA and major aerospace companies in designing high-intensity acoustical laboratories, which helped develop his interest in the parabola: the only shape that concentrates all forms of energy to a single focal point. His pioneering use of plastic, polyester resin, and industrial dyes and pigments reflects the technological advances that define the postwar period even as his work reveals the timeless inner workings of the human eye and mind. Eversley’s abstract, three-dimensional meditations on color—including the luminous lens-like objects for which he is best known—entice the viewer to approach, prompting questions about how the biological and optical mechanics of sight determine how we see and understand each other, and communicating a kinetic, palpable sense of the mysterious presence of energy throughout the universe.
Fred Eversley: Parabolic Light, Eversley’s first public artwork in New York, is on view through August 25, 2024, at Doris C. Freedman Plaza in Central Park. Eversley has also been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Orange County Museum of Art, Costa Mesa, California (2022–2023); 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, California (1977); Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, California (1976); and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1970). Recent group exhibitions include Light, Space, Surface: Selections from LACMA’s Collection, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2023); Light and Space, Copenhagen Contemporary, Copenhagen (2021–2022); Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963–1983 (2017–2020, traveled to five venues); Space Shifters, Hayward Gallery, London (2018); Dynamo – A Century of Light and Motion in Art, Grand Palais, Paris (2013); Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945–1980 (Getty Foundation, 2011; traveled to Gropius Bau, Berlin, 2012). His work is in the permanent collections of more than three dozen museums throughout the world, including Tate Modern, London; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas; Museum of Modern Art, New York; K11 Art Foundation, Hong Kong; and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The first monograph dedicated to Eversley’s work was published by David Kordansky Gallery in 2022. Eversley lives and works in New York City.
Hilarie M. Sheets