Fred Eversley: Parabolic Light

Fred Eversley (b. 1941, Brooklyn, NY) is a pioneer of the Light and Space art movement, which originated in Southern California in the 1960s. Interested in science as a teen, he experimented by casting jello in a pie pan on a spinning turntable, thus creating his first parabolic surface. His fascination with the parabola—the only shape that focuses all forms of energy to a single point—continued in his career as an engineer designing acoustical testing laboratories for the aerospace industry. Eversley, who shifted to making art in 1967, developed an innovative process of spin-casting liquid resin. In 1970 he cast his first full parabolic lens in polyester, launching a body of work which would become his principal focus for over fifty years.

Parabolic Light is Eversley’s first cast resin work made for outdoor display and the largest to date in the Cylindrical Lens series. His choice of magenta contrasts with the surrounding landscape. The form’s tapering thickness naturally results in a subtle color gradation. Its physical scale and transparent clarity allow us to experience a range of optical phenomena. The sun’s refracting and reflecting waves of light are bent and refocused, shifting with every angle. We perceive ourselves and our environment differently. For the artist, heightened awareness of both our inner and outer worlds holds transformative potential. Through an abstract art of clarified energy, Eversley’s Parabolic Light invites us into the realm of spiritual imagination.

Nicholas Baume
Artistic & Executive Director, Public Art Fund

Fred Eversley: Parabolic Light is curated by Public Art Fund Artistic & Executive Director Nicholas Baume with support from Public Art Fund Assistant Curator Jenée-Daria Strand, and developed by former Public Art Fund Senior Curator Allison Glenn.

About the Artist

Fred Eversley (b. 1941, Brooklyn, New York) is a key figure in the development of contemporary art from Los Angeles during the postwar period. He 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 becoming an artist, Eversley moved to California to become an engineer, collaborating with NASA and major aerospace companies to develop high-energy acoustic and vibration testing laboratories. Eversley’s work on NASA’s second and third human spaceflight programs, Gemini and Apollo, developed his interest in the parabola, which began when he was a teen. 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 will unveil his largest Public Commission to date, a sculptural installation, titled ‘Portals’, for permanent display in Able’s Park, at One Flagler, West Palm Beach in early summer of 2024, commissioned by Related Companies in partnership with the City of West Palm Beach. He 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).  Eversley will be part of two major group shows as part of the Pacific Standard Time Art and Science Collide program 2024. Recent group exhibitions include 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.

Installation Photos



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