Frederick John Eversley is a Los Angeles-based sculptor, born in 1941 in Brooklyn, New York, and is one of a group of artists associated with the 1960's “L.A. Light & Space“ movement. Working out of a studio in Venice Beach, his sleek creations in poured acrylic polymers, stainless steel and bronze frequently take the form of disks, parabolas, helices and lenses.
At first glance, the sculptures of Fred Eversley appear to be simple geometric forms: discs, parabolas, and triangular wedges. However, on further inspection, their subtleties and mysteries are revealed. All the three-dimensional works operate according to the optical principles of physics that determine the properties of lenses and mirrors. Even entirely solid forms appear to melt away either at the edges or through their centers.
These 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, as compared to the traditional distance separating the viewer from the art object.
Many of his sculptures incorporate parabolic curves that are found in a range of natural and man-made forms including suspension bridges, wind-blown sand dunes, and microwave reflectors, and Eversley is fascinated by their ability to concentrate and reflect energy into a single point.
For Fred Eversley, energy concerns, both physical and metaphysical, are central to the quality of life for all of humanity and thus are an important and fertile area for artistic investigation and activity. Most of Eversley's attention, both intellectually and aesthetically, has involved using his art forms as an expression of energy.
Fred Eversley was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1941, graduated from Brooklyn Technical High school and received a degree in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University). Postponing an opportunity to pursue medicine and bio-medical engineering, Eversley first came to Southern California for the exploding electronics and aerospace industry of the early 1960’s.
Energy flux is the common denominator of all natural and human systems. Literally, energy means the capacity to do work —— to move against a force, to create a rise in temperature, to cause a fl ow of electrons, to facilitate the process of photosynthesis. A living organism can be viewed as a chemical system designed to maintain and replicate itself by utilizing energy generated by the sun. The artful manipulation of energy is essential to the supply of food, to physical comfort and to improving the quality of life beyond rudimentary activities necessary for survival.
Fred Eversley in his studio, ca 1970
The concept of energy has a transcendental quality, both in physical and metaphysical terms. It is a reality, with a proven validity and durability. The concept of energy transcends mathematical description or its application in classical Newtonian mechanics as well as its currently accepted roles in the twin intellectual revolutions of Einstein’s special theory of relativity and Planck’s theory of quantum mechanics. The genesis of energy is central to the mystery of our existence as animate beings in an inanimate universe. The most disturbing impression gained from any study of energy phenomena, in both a social and physical sense, is the present and ever growing energy shortage.
The original and ultimate source of all energy on earth is the sun. The extensive utilization of solar energy seems the most likely long-range solution to the energy crisis. My early sculptures were directly infl uenced by the concept of this solar energy source, but were representative of the boarder sense of energy as both a physical and metaphysical concept.
Among the most novel proposals for effi cient harnessing and utilization of solar energy involves the orbiting satellite power stations. The idea is that solar energy would be converted into high intensity microwave power using either solar cells or helium turbogenerators, beamed at selected receiving stations on the surface of the earth. Each receiving station would consist of a large array of paraboloidal microwave antennas and a power conversion facility. An orbiting power station could overcome much of the inherent ineffi ciency of earth based solar power systems, which is due to the large percentage of incident solar energy radiation absorbed by or refl ected from our atmosphere. If this proposed system becomes a reality a large portion of the countryside will be covered with these parabolic structures. This and other solar energy harnessing systems may cause us to witness a major change in architectural shapes, from the prevailing rectilinear and round forms to parabolic structures.
This possibility of transforming large quantities of solar energy into electrical power led me to a lifetime of exploration of the parabola and parabolic shapes their natural forms in nature, their inherent physical and optical properties, and the social implications of these energy trapping structures.
The parabolic shape is found to exist in a wide range of natural forms and physical phenomena :e.g, trajectory of projectiles, acoustical and microwave reflectors, parabolic sand dunes created by wind action, as well the parabolic shape of graphical representation of many physical phenomenon in the fi elds of fluid and aerodynamics. What particularly impressed me was the inherent ability to concentrate, in lens and refl ector modes, all forms of electro-magnetic and acoustic energy to a single focal point. Accordingly, I became very involved with creating works of sculpture using parabolic shapes.
My early sculptures consisted of transparent, multi-color plano-concave cylindrical parabolic lenses. Some of these lenses had a full parabolic surface; others had apertures at the center either large or small. A few of the lens were cut to result in a tapered cross-section in the vertical plane, thinner at the top than at the bottom. The transparent pieces employ the inherent image and energy concentrating properties of the concave parabolic shape which act as giant multi- hued fi sh eye lenses which capture an image within themselves of all of the surroundings. These transparent lenses also concentrate light energy, which is projected onto the environment and the spectator. The visual cognition of this energy concentration causes many to perceive them as iconic or monadicm objects possessing their own internal source of energy.
Eventually my sculptures evolved into translucent and opaque plano-concave parabolic discs. They act as front surface parabolic mirrors of refl ectors that capture and focus the frontal light energy onto an imaginary plane or point that appears to be suspended in space between the parabolic surface and the spectator. The physical energy phenomenon, represented optically by the sculptures, represents the entire spectrum of electromagnetic and acoustical energy. If Freud, Reich and the Egyptians are correct about their assumptions regarding physical energy, my sculptures may prove to be valid concentrator of metaphysical energy. it is somewhat ironic that my principle sculptural medium-polyester resin-- is a petrochemical product, the energy source in shortest supply.
The original goal of my early pieces of sculpture was to create kinetic art without using kinetic elements such as mechanical movement or artifi cial light changes. In their place I preferred to employ natural changes in light, the environment and the spectator to create the kinetic effects. This emphasis changed in 1977whenI discovered the existence of the Savonius Rotor (Wing-Rotor) windmill. This vertical-axis Windmill is characterized by very simple construction, with only one or two rotating bearings - Omni-directional sensitivity to the wind direction, and little need for a tall mounting tower.
I utilized the theory of the Savonius Rotor windmill to design and construct the 12-Meter tall double parabolic sculpture for the entrance of the Dade County (Miami) International Airport. The twin parabolic shapes, which are constructed of mirror polished stainless steel, are mounted onto a circular turntable. An electrical generator is mounted under the turntable and attached to its central axis. When wind strikes the twin parabolic shapes it causes them to rotate around their vertical central axis and thus rotate the generator causing it to generate electricity. The resulting electricity energizes the neon lamps located around the periphery of the twin parabolic shapes. The stronger the prevailing wind, the faster the vertical rotation of the parabolic shapes, and the brighter the neon illumination. The sculpture acts as a kinetic visual anemometer.
My inital involvement with the use of wind energy to create physically kinetic sculpture has led to a series air current activated suspended rotating sculptures. These sculptures are spiral airfoils each containing hundreds of internal plastic prisms which refract the sunlight into moving spectra cast upon the environs thus celebrating both solar and wind energy. I have also created a series of transparent fountains, which utilize crystal clear mineral oil (petroleum), as the liquid fl owing medium. The crystal clear oil creates waves as it fl ows over the surface of the sculpture, with each wave acting as a liquid prism refracting the sunlight into moving spectra cast upon the environs. Thus, they are a celebration of solar and fossil energy.
Energy has been a source of inspiration and speculation for poets, mystics and philosophers through the ages.
William Blake wrote:
Man has no Body distinct from his Soul; for that called Body
is a portion of Soul
discern’d by the five Senses
inlets of Soul in this age.
Energy is the only life and is from the Body;
and reason is the bound or outward circumference of Energy.
Energy is Eternal Delight.
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, 1793
I emphatically concur.
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
Imago Gallery, Palm Desert, CA
David Richard Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
William Turner Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
La Artcore Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Quandro Gallery, Dubai, UAE
Osuna Gallery, Washington, D. C.
European Space Agency Gallery, The Hague, Netherlands
Capa Esculturas, Brussels, Belgium
Eve Cohon Gallery, Chicago IL
Hokin Gallery, Palm Beach & Bal Harbor, FL
Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA
Bacardi Art Gallery, Miami, FL
Braunstein Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Pepperdine University Art Gallery, Malibu, CA
National Academy of Science, Washington D.C.
American Institute of Architects, Washington, D.C.
Palm Springs Desert Museum, Palm Springs, CA
Oakland Museum of Art, Oakland, CA
Quay Gallery, San Francisco, CA
National Academy of Science, Washington, D.C.
Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
Santa Barbara Museum, Santa Barbara, CA
Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, CA
Andrew Crispo Gallery, New York, NY
J.L. Hudson Gallery, Detroit, MI
Morgan Gallery, Kansas City, MO
Quay Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Phyllis Kind Gallery, Chicago, IL
0.K. Harris Gallery, New York, NY
Jack Glenn Gallery, Corona Del Mar, CA
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
Op Infinitum: “The Responsive Eye” Fifty Years After, Part I, Part II, American Op Art in the 60’s, David Richard Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond, Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY
African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA
African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond, Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, TN
African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond, Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, NM
African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA
Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980, the Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA
DYNAMO, A century of light and movement in art 1913-2013, The Réunion des Musées Les Nationaux-Grand Palais, Paris
COLORS AND OPTICS, David Richard Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond, Menello Museum of american Art, Orlando, FL
Palm Springs Fine Art Fair, Imago Gallery, Palm Desert
Art Miami, David Richard Gallery
'For the Martian Chronicles', L&M Arts, Venice, CA
African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond, Muscarelle Museum of Art, Williamsburg, VA
Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980, Hammer Museum, at MoMA PS1,
Smooth operations: Substance and Surface in Southern California Art, Lancaster’s Museum of Art and History, MOAH, CA
African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington
Rodin to Now: Modern Sculpture, Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert, CA
Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970, The Getty Foundation, The Martin Gropius Bau Museum, Berlin, March
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO
The Gleam In The Young Bastards Eye, William Turner Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, November 2011-January 3 2011
Pacific Standard Time // Paris, California Light, Space and Surface, Galerie Dominique Fiat, Paris, Dec. 10 2011- Feb 2 2012
Permanent Collection, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AK
Greetings from LA: Artists and Publics 1945-1980
Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970, The Getty Foundation, LA
Places of Validation, Art and Progression, MAAA, The Museum of African Amerivcan Art, Los Angeles, CA
Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA
The Last Plastics Show, Carldwell Jimmerson Gallery, Culver City, CA
The Artist Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art, MOCA, Los Angeles, CA
Some (Old School) South Coast Guys, Robert Berman Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Off the Wall, Manhattanville College Gallery of Fine Arts, Purchase, NY
Modern & Contemporary, Jack Rutberg Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
American Sculpture, Art Pavillon-St-Urban, St Urban, CH
Energy/Experimentation: Black Artist and Abstraction 1964-1980,
The Studio Museum, New York, NY
Austrian Biennale – 2006, Klagenfurt, Austria
Insatiable Desires, Fisher Gallery, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Biennale Internationale Dell’Arte Contemporanea, Florence, Italy
African American Artists in Los Angeles, A Survey Exhibition: Pathways (1966-1989),
California African American Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Monocromos – De Malevich al presente, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain
Rhythm of Structure-Mathematic Aesthetic, Kenkeleba Gallery, New York, NY
Selections of Permanent Collection, Chelsea Art and Design, Sarasota, Fl
Mono-Chrome, Paul Rogers/9W Gallery, Museum, New York, NY
Biennale Internationale Dell’Arte Contemporanea, Florence, Italy
Plastic Fantastic, Exhibit A Gallery, New York, NY
Mathart/Artmath, Shelby Gallery, Ringling School of Art and Design, Sarasota, Fl
Mono-Chrome, Paul Rogers/9W Gallery,New York, NY
Samadhi: The Contemplation of Space, Chelsea Art Museum, New York, NY
Rhythm of Structure, Fire Patrol No.5 Gallery, New York, NY
Celebrating Modern Art: The Anderson Collection, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
Permanent Collection, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA
Sculpture Today 2000, Galerie Marie-Louise Wirth, Zurich, Switzerland
Summer Show, Chatauqua Ctr for the Visual Arts, Chatauqua, NY
Feast On Art, Orange County Museum Of Art, Newport Beach, CA
Free Within Ourselves, National Museum Of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC
Highlights Of The Permanent Collection, Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, CA
Fusion ‘93, Pauline Hirsh Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
In Context, Boritzer/Gray Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
ARCO, Galerie Lorenzelli Arte, Madrid, Spain
Art Miami, Eve Cohon Gallery, Miami, FL
Baker Jaffe Gallery, Boca Raton, FL
Finish Fetish,The University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Constructive Concepts, Ersgard Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
Caro, Venet, Eversley, Elisabeth Franck Gallery, Knokke, Belgium
FIAC, Galerie Denise Rene, Paris, France
Celebrate Afro-American Art: Yesterday and Today, Connecticut Gallery of Marlborough, Hartfort, CT
Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport, CA
Highlights of the Simon Guggenheim Museum Collection, Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC
Constructivist Art, Museum Ludwig, Koln, GER
Artwalk ‘87 Salvo, Merging One Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
Juda-Rowan Gallery, London, U.K.
Mathematik in der Kunst, Wilhelm-Hack Museum, Ludwigshafen, Germany
Light Games, Angels Gate Cultural Center, San Pedro, CA
Forgotten Dimension, Palo Alto Cultural Center, Palo Alto, CA
Nevelson, Stella, Eversley, Hokin Gallery, Bay Harbor Islands, FL
Forgotten Dimension, Visual Arts Gallery, Florida International University, Miami, FL
A Broad Spectrum: Contemporary Los Angeles Painters and Sculptors-84, Design Center of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
East West, California Afro-American Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Juda Rowan Gallery, London, U. K.
Reflections, Lonny Gans & Associates, Marina del Rey, CA
An Artistic Conversation, Ulster Museum, Belfast, Ireland
Michael Lord Gallery, Milwaukee, WI
3-D Plus: Small Contemporary Sculpture, Braunstein Gallery, San Francisco, CA
An American Art: Post-World War II Painting and Sculpture, Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL
100 Years of California Sculpture, The Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA
Une Experience Museographique: Echange entre Artistes 1931-1982 Pologne
U.S.A., Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France
Forgotten Dimensions, Art Museum Association Traveling Exhibition, San Francisco, CA
Artist in Residence Exhibition, National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C.
Art of the Space Age, Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL
Selected Acquisitions, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Painting & Sculpture in California - The Modern Era, National Collection of Fine Arts, Washington, D.C.
Inner Space, Mano Gallery, Chicago, IL
Contemporary Black Artists, Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles, CA
Contemporary Artists of the American West, Santa Fe Festival of the Arts, Santa Fe, NM
Inaugural Exhibition, Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, CA
Materials of Art: Plastic, Joseloff Gallery, University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT
The Magic Circle, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY
A Tribute to Martin Luther King, Los Angeles Municipal Fine Arts, Washington, D.C.
Painting & Sculpture in California - The Modern Era, San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco, CA
Carnegie-Mellon Alumni Exhibition, West Broadway Gallery, New York, NY
Painting and Sculpture Today - 1976, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN
Group Show, Lee Hoffman Gallery, Detroit, MI
Monumental Sculpture Competition, Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach, FL
Hard and Clear, Los Angeles County Museum of Arts, Los Angeles, CA
Contemporary American Sculpture, Virginia Museum, Richmond, VA
Creative America: forty-five American sculptures, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong
Directions in Afro-American Art, Herbert F. Johnston Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Six Sculptors - University of Colorado Art Museum, Boulder, CO
Blacks U.S.A. Now, New York Cultural Center, NY
Soft and Light, Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, OH
Contemporary American Art, Andrew Crispo Gallery, New York, NY
Illuminations and Reflections, Whitney Museum of American Art, Downtown Branch, New York, NY
Twentieth Century Sculpture From Southern California Collection, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Multi-Media,Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA
The Last Plastics Show, California Institute of Arts, Valencia, CA
Group Show, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
10th Annual Southern California Exhibitions, Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA
Group Show, Stanford University Museum of Art, Palo Alto, CA
Art For Your Collection, Rhode Island Museum of Art, Providence, RI
Act for McGovern, Pace Gallery, New York, NY
Sculpture Show, Annely Juda Fine Arts, London, England
Looking West, ACA Gallery, New York, NY
Whitney Annual, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Translucent and Transparent Art, Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, FL
Translucent and Transparent Art, Jacksonville Art Museum, Jacksonville, FL
Contemporary Black Artists in America, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
California Artists, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Highlights of 1971 Season, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT
Creative America: forty-five American sculptures, The American Center, Ankara, Turkey
Plastic Possibilities, Jr. Art Gallery, Louisville, KY
Afro-American Artists, Rath Museum, Geneva, Switzerland
American Kunst, 1959-1970, Louisiana Museum of Contemporary Art, Humleback, Denmark
73rd Western Annual, Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
A Deacde of California Color 1960-1970, Pace Gallery, New York, NY
Creative America: forty-five American sculptures, The American Center, Tokyo, Japan
Fourth Annual California Image Exhibition, CA
State College at LA, Purchase Award, Los Angeles, CA
Plastic Presence, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI
Plastic Presence, San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco, CA
Dimensions in Black, Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA
Two Generations of Black Artists, California State College at Los Angeles, CA
Art and Technology, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Permutations - Light and Color, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
New Acquisitions, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Looking West, Joslyn Museum of Art, Omaha, NE
Pierres De Fantasie, Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA
Whitney Sculpture Annual, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Sculpture, California State College at Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
Point of View, California State College of Los Angeles Limited Editions Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Plastic Art, San Pedro Municipal Gallery, San Pedro, CA
New Directions in Art, Westside Jewish Center, Los Angeles, CA
Plastic Presence, Jewish Museum, New York, NY
Painting and Sculpture Today- 1969, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN
Los Angeles Sculpture, Limited Editions Gallery, Los Angeles, CA