David Kordansky Gallery presents Chromospheres II, an online solo exhibition of recent 'Parabolic Lens' sculptures by Fred Eversley. Each phenomenal multicolour, multilayer sculpture is among the last and most complex works Eversley cast in his storied Venice Beach studio. The show will remain on view until Wednesday, June 17, 2020.
A key figure in the Light and Space movement and one of the most representative artists based in Los Angeles during the postwar period, Fred Eversley has dedicated a significant portion of his five-decade-plus career to the development of the 'Parabolic Lenses' that are his signal achievement. These objects also constitute one of the most sustained and iconic bodies of work in American minimalism and are ravishing visual conundrums whose subjects are no less than the movement of energy—including light, sound, and even metaphysical forces—and the mechanisms of perception.
Important for historical reasons, Eversley’s recent lenses are equally significant for technical ones: until a late burst of creative output necessitated in part by circumstance, the artist had not attempted three—and two-colour sculptures of this kind since the 1970s. These works, therefore, represent both a return and a bold step forward, as Eversley brought decades of experience to their making.
The sculptures featured in this exhibition are among the very last Eversley made before he was forced to vacate his Venice Beach studio, which had been his home and atelier since 1969. The Venice studio contained all of the specially outfitted machines, built by the artist himself, which he utilised to make the 'Parabolic Lenses'. Now a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument, the studio space was formerly occupied by the maverick American composer and instrument builder Harry Partch, as well as the painter John Altoon, and its interior is one of Frank Gehry’s earliest architectural designs. The area itself served as a hub for artists associated with the Light and Space movement; John McCracken, located directly next door, and Eversley would assist each other in producing work.
With an instinctual feel for the resin, dyes, and catalysts used to cast the lenses, as well as their properties when subjected to motion and the passing of time, Eversley generates an astonishing array of effects. These fully materialise only after a lengthy, physically demanding polishing process that completes the transformation of each work from inert material into a radiant, charged object. Some colours blend into one another while others hold distinct edges; opacity and translucency vary depending on the thickness of the curves on any given sculpture; and optical spaces proliferate on and within the volumetric surfaces of each lens-form, especially as the viewer moves around it. Each crystallises the properties of energy that animate the atmospheres in which we live, giving physical form to what we see not only with our eyes, but with our minds and imaginations.
Fred Eversley (b. 1941, Brooklyn, New York; lives and works in New York) was the subject of Black, White, Gray, a solo survey exhibition at the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts (2017) and Art + Practice, Los Angeles (2016). Other solo exhibitions include shows at the National Academy of Science, Washington, D.C. (1981); Oakland Museum of California (1977); and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1970). Recent group exhibitions include Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963–1983, which originated at Tate Modern, London (2017) and is touring venues throughout the U.S. (2018–2020); Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2020); Space Shifters, Hayward Gallery, London (2018); Water & Power, The Underground Museum, Los Angeles (2018); Artworks by African Americans from the Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. (2016); Notations: Minimalism in Motion, Philadelphia Museum of Art (2015); Now Dig This!: Art and Black Los Angeles, 1960–1980, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2011); Energy/Experimentation: Black Artists and Abstraction, 1964–1980, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2006); and Monocromos – De Malevich al presente, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2004). Eversley’s work is included in over forty public collections worldwide.
Press release courtesy David Kordansky Gallery.