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 Paul Jr. (II) Evans  (1931 - 1987)

About: Paul Jr. (II) Evans
 

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Lived/Active: Pennsylvania/New York/Massachusetts / United Kingdom      Known for: mixed-metal modernist sculpture, furniture design

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BIOGRAPHY for Paul Evans
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Birth
1931 (Newtown, Pennsylvania)
 
Death
1987 (Nantucket Island, Massachusetts)

Lived/Active
Pennsylvania/New York/Massachusetts / United Kingdom

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mixed-metal modernist sculpture, furniture design

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A furniture designer and mixed-metal sculptor in bronze, silver and gold, Paul Evans first earned public notice with an exhibition that included his work in 1957 at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts in New York City.  In 1964, he became the designer for Directional, a furniture manufacturing company, where his special series was called "Argent". 

Evans studied at the Cranbrook Academy of Art.


Source:
www.merrillantiques.com

Biography from Rago Arts and Auction:
Paul Evans studied silver smithing at the School for American Craftsmen in Rochester, New York.  With the help of art patron Aileen Vanderbilt Webb, Evans received a scholarship to attend the Cranbrook Academy of Art.  Evans did not complete his degree, but spent time working as a silversmith at Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts.  There, Evans demonstrated traditional silver-smithing techniques, as he also became a celebrated artist in his own right. (1)

In 1951, Evans stopped by the shop of New Hope, Pennsylvania artist Phillip Lloyd Powell, who sold modern furnishings by some of the more well-known designers of the time including lamps by Isamu Noguchi.

In 1955, Evans moved permanently to New Hope, and began collaborating with Phillip Powell.  By the fifties New Hope, an historical arts community, had become a hub of artists interested in modern art and design.  Powell and Evans combined their talents in wood and metal, respectively, crafting one-of-a-kind cabinets, screens, and shelving units. In 1958, Evans began making steel-front cabinets with his unique style of revealing the welding joints.

Evans' work was greatly aided by collaboration with the machinist Dorsey Reading who began working with Evans in 1959, crafting the base structures for Evans pieces and completing modifications under Evans’ direction.  Their work was innovative and featured metals with pigment and acid treatments and edges treated with gold leaf. (2)

Evans quickly attracted attention for his unconventional, yet brilliantly crafted work.   In 1961 Powell and Evans held a two-man show featuring thirty pieces at the America House exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts in New York, now named the Museum of Arts & Design.  Around this time, Evans began work on the “bronze series” for the furniture manufacturer Directional, which was released in 1964.  Another large commission for Evans included more than thirty pieces, worked in collaboration with Phillip Powell, completed for puppeteer ad children's television star, Shari Lewis. The two also created furniture for Rina and Norman Indictor.

However, it was Evans’ work for Directional that spanned the course of his career. One of the most iconic works from this collection was the Disc Bar, a circular cabinet with sculpted-bronze doors that appeared as if they had been worked in clay.  Evans created new lines for Directional yearly, including the popular Argente line featuring welded aluminum and the ultra-modern Cityscape line in brass and chrome that Evans developed in the early 70s. Evans worked for Directional until 1980.

He retired seven years later and died of a heart attack at age fifty-six.

Footnotes:

1. Iovine, Julie V. “Paul Evans & Phillip Lloyd Powell” in ed. Todd Merrill and Julie V. Iovine, Modern Americana (New York: Rizzoli, 2008)p.92
2. Ibid, p.95


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