Evan Holloway and Fred Eversley at Kordansky Gallery

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Two artists at David Kordansky Gallery take on the history of modern sculpture but in very different ways: Evan Holloway and Fred Eversley.

In the early 20th century, Alberto Giacometti and Henry Moore, were titans of modern art. How does a contemporary artist, working today in Los Angeles, respond to that past? One answer can be seen in the newest work by Evan Holloway.

The L.A.-based Holloway, who got his undergraduate and graduate degrees at UCLA, has been tackling such issues since the 1990s, often combining the sorts of functional or funky materials that were far from the modernists’ consciousness in forms that alluded to that well known past.

To really operate in that realm, however, you have to go big and Holloway has taken maximum advantage of that opportunity in this show titled Outdoor Sculpture.

There are five large pieces made for outdoor locations. Each is noticeably unique from the others yet each has obvious references to the history of modern sculpture, including substantial materials meant to last for the ages.

Evan Holloway.Third Verse, 2018. patinated bronze127 x 87 3/4 x 43 inches(322.6 x 222.9 x 109.2 cm)Edition of 3, with 1AP. Photography: Lee Thompson. Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles

Giacometti, known for his skinny sculptures of people, such as his “walking man,” is the source for Holloway’s extraordinary starburst of cast bronze. In this case, three legs support an oval from which long rays extend, each terminating in a molded narrow face. The faces are upright or upside down depending on their placement on the circle of rays. Titled Third Verse (2018) from The Book of the Law, the 1904 writings of occultist Aleistair Crowley, it refers to the verse stating, “Every man and every woman can be a star.”

A number of Southern California artists have been interested in the unfettered lifestyle and theories of Crowley, who had lived here and had a devotee in Cal Tech scientist Jack Parsons. Holloway, however, includes the reference as part of an over-reaching personal cosmology and his desire to have sculptures carrying multiple levels of meaning.

Evan Holloway. Earth Angel, 2018. patinated bronze84 1/2 x 79 x 54 inches(214.6 x 200.7 x 137.2 cm)unique. Photography: Lee ThompsonCourtesy of David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles

Henry Moore, known for voluptuous figurative forms, is the starting point for another sculpture by Holloway, Earth Angel (2018). Concave on one side, convex on the other, it looks like a rounded lump of asteroid covered with studs. On closer inspection, these turn out to be cast from actual batteries: nine volts, C and D size cylinders.

Holloway previously embedded his plaster sculptures with such batteries that, he says, have a brief active life but a lengthy passive life with an impact on the environment. This musing on the fact and myth of power also manifests in his use of bronze as material connoting wealth and prestige.

28 Incense Sticks, 2018. aluminum, incense110 x 92 x 61 inches(279.4 x 233.7 x 154.9 cm)unique. Photography: Lee ThompsonCourtesy of David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles

A third sculpture of cast aluminum is a serpentine mobius strip dotted with barely noticeable holes, 28 of them, to hold sticks of incense. They represent the 28 nights of the lunar calendar with packets of myrrh incense provided by the artist. The curvilinear forms look like rising smoke and their tough, reflective surface is in opposition to the fragility of a stick of incense.

Evan Holloway. Siblings, 2018. powder-coated aluminum, high-tempspray paint, bulbs, fixtures, wiring,and lighting controller. 101 x 38 x 17 1/4 inches(256.5 x 96.5 x 43.8 cm)unique. Photography: Lee Thompson. Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles

A forth sculpture will be most familiar to Holloway fans. Two columns of wildly colored cartoon-like heads, stacked atop one another sideways, ear to ear, like wonky totem poles. It is lined with flashing lights, like something out of a carnival.

Evan Holloway. Houseplant, 2018. patinated bronze75 x 63 x 41 inches(190.5 x 160 x 104.1 cm)unique. Photography: Jeff McLane. Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles

The fifth is a potted plant and a hanging plant suspended from an overhead support and cast in a green-toned bronze. It is both mundane and utterly strange, a way of bringing the indoors outdoors. Originally made of cardboard, it looks as though hastily assembled yet it is cast in a green-toned bronze.

Sculpture concerns volume in space, the physical relationship of the art to the viewer. Holloway gears his pieces to his own body and is cognizant of the impact from near and far perspectives.

The standards of formal sculpture are referenced while maintaining the hand-made, idiosyncracy that has long characterized his work.

In 2008, Holloway showed at Pomona College with the Light and Space artist James Turrell. At Kordansky, his work is paired with another artist from the period, Fred Eversley. The Venice- based artist gained recognition for his sculptures made of colored, polished resin as part of the Light and Space movement in Southern California of the 1960s.

Fred Eversley. Untitled (parabolic lens), (1973) 2018. cast polyester19 3/4 x 19 3/4 x 6 3/8 inches(50.2 x 50.2 x 16.2 cm). Photography: Jeff McLaneCourtesy of David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles

His latest round discs, Chromospheres, each close to two feet tall, have been hollowed out on one side so that rich color on the perimeter becomes translucent at the interior. They continue his lengthy concern with the “parabolic lens,” which concentrates yet diffuses reflected light.

In this installation, each disc is mounted on a white base of equal height so a viewer can look through a portal of color to see another sculpture. Red ruby, golden amber, smoky black, the color of each disc conveys a different visual experience. The shapes may be simple but the effect is intense and captivating. Both shows continue to March 2.