Eye On Design: Parabolic Light By Fred Eversley in Central Park

parabolic light sculpture photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

Twice annually — in the spring and then again in late summer — New York’s  Public Art  Fund  installs a new site-specific artwork in Central Park’s Doris C. Freedman Plaza, and it’s always fun and exciting to see that the next sculpture will be. However, with the recently- installed Parabolic Light, a translucent magenta obelisk by artist Fred Eversley, New Yorkers will get to enjoy its reflective glow  for an entire year!

fred eversley photo by gail worley
Artist Fred Eversley at the Sculpture Launch Press Event on September 6th

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.

parabolic light sculpture left side view photo by gail worley

His fascination with the parabola — the only shape that focuses all forms of energy to a single point — continued into his career as an engineer designing acoustical testing laboratories for the aerospace industry.

parabolic light sculpture rear view looking south photo by gail worley

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 sculpture with woman photo by gail worley

Parabolic Light is Eversley’s first cast resin work made for outdoor display and the largest to-date in the artist’s Cylindrical Lens series. His choice of the color magenta contrasts with the surrounding landscape.

parabolic light sculpture right rear view photo by gail worley

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.

parabolic light sculpture right side view photo by gail worley

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.

parabolic light sculpture detail photo by gail worley

Fred Eversley’s Parabolic Light will be on view through August 25th, 2024 in Doris C. Freedman Plaza, at the 5th Avenue and 59th Street Entrance to Central Park, in NYC.

parabolic light sculpture against skyscrapers photo by gail worley

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