Bending Perception: Surprising New Sculptures by Fred Eversley
Six gem-like sculptures by artist Fred Eversley currently stand in the David Kordansky Gallery in New York. Measuring up to 9 feet tall and made from highly-translucent resin, each work feels like it exists somewhere between a physical object and the air itself. But the exhilarating thrill (and total surprise) occurs when someone else enters the room. Each form also functions like a massive lens that visually liquifies, reverses, layers, and color-tints any other visitor who walks in the gallery. Cylindrical Lenses is a celebration of light, color, shared humanity, and exceptional beauty, on view through June 10, 2023.
Fred Eversley was born in Brooklyn in 1941 and began his career as an engineer. After graduating from Carnegie Mellon, he moved to California where he worked for Wyle Laboratories to build acoustical testing facilities for NASA. In 1967, a severe car accident nearly ended his life, leaving him on crutches for close to a year. He used this time to begin experimenting with art and a completely unique process. Eversley used a modified turntable and liquid plastic to create circular parabolic forms produced by a controlled centrifugal force. Those circular forms would then be laboriously hand-sanded and polished by the artist over so many hours that the result functioned as both form and lens. To see a number of those round lens-like works for which he is most known, check out images from this incredible 2019 exhibition here. And if you’re as curious as I am, watch this fascinating and well-produced video of Eversley explaining the process, ideas, and his unique origin as an artist in his own words (produced by the Getty Conservation Institute in 2022).
After producing those circular forms in Venice, California for about 50 years, Eversley has recently moved back to New York and is debuting this major new body of work, his first solo exhibition in the city since 1976.
These new forms again contain a parabola shape, now achieved by a diagonal “cut” through a column form. Each work is slightly different in how that “column” and “plane” interact in addition to the various sizes and colors. All of this produces completely unexpected abstractions of your fellow visitors and neighboring works.
All to say: this isn’t a show to keep to yourself. If you arrive alone, stay until someone else enters (you won’t have to wait long with how irresistible these look from the sidewalk), and if someone enters after you, it’s a joy to “accidentally” walk behind a sculpture that they’re viewing to give them that surprise. The joy of this exhibition is as much about the objects as it is about the friends and strangers you share it with.
What: Fred Eversley: Cylindrical Lenses
Where: David Kordansky Gallery, 520 W 20th St, New York
When: May 6 – June 10, 2023
All photos: Tom Powel Studio. Courtesy of the artist and David Kordansky Gallery