Evans, Paul (American 1931-1987)
Dining Table with Elliptical Top
Parcel-gilt metal and slate
Welded to the underside: Paul Evans 67
30.5in h x 80.5in w x 46in d
• An Important Main Line, PA Collection
• Acquired from Lost City Arts, New York, NY 25 January 2013
American designer and sculptor Paul Evans is best known for his brutalist and roughly sculpted metal furniture. Evans was born in Trenton, New Jersey in 1931 and raised in Newtown, Pennsylvania. Evans studied at the Philadelphia Textile Institute, the Rochester Institute of Technology, New York and later at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. Upon graduation, Evans briefly worked as a silversmith at the Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts, where he gave live demonstrations.
Evans was greatly influenced by the brutalist design movement of the 1950s, a style that intentionally looked rough and unadorned by highlighting raw materials, textures, and construction. In 1955 he relocated to New Hope, Pennsylvania where he shared a workshop with his mentor Phillip Loyd Powell. At this time, Evans began creating metal sculpture and furniture covered in raw metal with welded star bursts and knobs. In 1964 Evans became a designer for Directional Furniture and launched several furniture lines including his popular Cityscapes series. Evans’ style evolved from craft-like in the 1950s and 1960s, to flashy and mechanical in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1981, Evans opened his own showroom in New York City. His life was cut short at the age of 55 after he suffered a heart attack.
The Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania held a major retrospective of Evans’ work in 2014 titled “Paul Evans: Crossing Boundaries and Crafting Modernism.” In an accompanying film for the show, musician and ardent Evans collector, Lenny Kravitz best described Evans’ unique design style as “…stunningly beautiful, stunningly ugly, stunningly tacky, stunningly sophisticated.”
The present table dates to 1967 and highlights Evans’ smithing skills with its welded patchwork of various steel cut-outs, acid burned decorations and welded pieces. A monumental table in form and weight, this impressive table has an elliptical tabletop made of hefty ribbon slate.