A West Coast pioneer’s overview impact

Fred Eversley, Untitled, 1976, opaque black cast polyester, 19 3/8 x 19 3/8 x 7".

Fred Eversley has devoted his five-decade profession to summary sculptural meditations on power. Working in Venice Seaside because the early Nineteen Seventies, Eversley drew upon his expertise as an engineer and parts of the Gentle and House motion prevalent in Southern California on the time to develop the lens-like parabolic objects for which he’s greatest identified. The survey exhibition “Fred Eversley: Reflecting Back (the World),” on view by way of January 15, 2023, at the Orange County Museum of Artwork, offers an event to mirror on the work of the octogenarian artist, who not too long ago relocated to New York Metropolis, and to take inventory of his position as a pioneering West Coast determine. Right here, Eversley discusses the lengthy arc of his luminary, ongoing apply.

MY WORK IS ALL ABOUT ENERGY. My fundamental form, the one I’ve labored with for over fifty years, is the parabola. The parabola is the one and solely form that’s the good concentrator of all types of power. It displays all types of power—mild, warmth, sound—identically to a single focus. No matter cosmic power there may be that is likely to be bouncing round would react in the identical approach. So enjoying with and pushing the boundaries of the parabola has been the main focus of my work for many years.

I realized concerning the parabola very early on in a preferred mechanics journal once I was a teen. It was Newton who did an experiment of spinning a bucket of water on the vertical axis of a rope and making a parabolic floor. This precept was then employed by astronomers in laboratories to make the expertise for a telescope, utilizing a spinning can of mercury to make an ideal parabola. After I was fourteen or so, I went down into my father’s basement and poured Jell-O right into a pie pan rotating on a phonographic turntable and it shaped a parabola which solid mild, like mercury would. The parabola has been with me, been the core of my life’s work, since then actually. Even earlier than I made artwork, I used to be an engineer and designed high-intensity acoustical laboratories for NASA Houston, for the Gemini and Apollo area missions, so I used to be additionally coping with and understanding power then. My dedication and focus over all these years stems from my perception that power is the supply of the whole lot on this planet. Nothing exists with out power. It’s essentially the most important idea for the idea of all life. So I simply tried to push that concept so far as I can. Given the state of the world now—from the local weather disaster to excessive oil and fuel shortages—the importance of power as an idea and materials is clear.

View of Fred Eversley: Reflecting Back (the World),” 2022–23, Orange County Museum of Art.

Most of my works derive from power focus on a parabolic floor. For the smaller works, I take advantage of a modified turntable with a variable pace motor on it, and a hand-crafted mildew to make a complete vary of items. I’ve all the time solid after which polished them myself. The sprucing is almost all of the work, really: That’s when the colour and the reflective high quality come out. The lens has a fisheye impact, so you possibly can see your self within the work. I all the time work with the connection between the viewer and the article, and the connection between what surrounds the viewer and what surrounds the article. My work makes this energetic interconnectivity materials. Towards the tip of my time in my studio in Venice, I began to discover new dyes and pigments. Since transferring to New York in 2019, I’ve continued to experiment with new colours which have totally different saturations and intensities and create new chromatic results. To make any work bigger than twenty inches in diameter, I take advantage of two huge cast-iron turntables that I purchased at an public sale within the Nineteen Seventies. I came upon that these have been the turntables used to machine the casings of the atomic bombs that fell on Japan.

My present on the Orange County Museum of Artwork, my fourth present there, covers fifty years of labor in a comparatively compact area. That was a problem, however was additionally attention-grabbing, as a result of the present comes full circle in some methods to my first exhibition there in 1976, when it was nonetheless referred to as the Newport Harbor Artwork Museum. I confirmed a number of current polyester lenses in these new radiant colours juxtaposed with examples of my historic lenses which might be all variations of violet, amber, and blue in numerous configurations and dimensions, and in addition mirror the reflective black lens and huge black rocker in OCMA’s assortment. The smallest sculptures in that present, from 1968, have been my first spun-cast three-color, three-layer cylindrical cuts, a form which I’ve not too long ago began enlarging into sculptures which might be greater than ten ft tall. This scaling-up was one thing I used to be enthusiastic about even then and tried to do just a few instances again within the late ’70s. Now I’m working with an out of doors fabricator to fabricate these large-scale tapered cylindrical lens sculptures in clear resin supplies—we’ve made three up to now. It’s a completely totally different optical phenomena from the spherical parabolic lenses. So exhibiting one in every of these new seven-foot sculptures in Orange County makes the present really feel like each a leap and a loop.

You rise up each morning, and day-after-day is a brand new day. When it comes to—the whole lot. I’m fortunate sufficient to be ready now, in my life, the place potentialities are extra open than they’ve ever been to attempt one thing new. The brand new collection of large-scale works offers viewers a full corporeal dimension that may be skilled open air with a radiant colour spectra and a radical interplay with their environment. I’m at the moment growing this form and exploring this materials capability additional for a big, site-specific public fee, which feels grander than the general public commissions I’ve made prior to now. I’ve had the nice luxurious of constructing artwork 100% of my time for over fifty years, of exhibiting with fantastic galleries and museums. I actually do have the sensation that the chances are infinite.