Paul Evans 'Skyline' Coffee Table in Welded and Patinated Steel
Paul Evans, 'skyline' coffee table, welded and patinated steel, colored pigments, glass, United States, 1972.
Designed by Paul Evans, this unique coffee table is certainly a work of art in its own right. This piece exemplifies Evans’s idiosyncratic way with welding and constructing. The composition of the base resembles a skyline, consisting of an asymmetrical layout of geometric elements that vary in size, shape, and layout. This design feature testifies to the postmodern design ideology. For each element, Evans drew on a rich autumnal color palette of greens, oranges, reds, yellows, and browns joined by welded motifs with a natural outline. The table is accompanied with a round glass top through which you can admire the sculptural base. The table signed and dated “Paul Evans 1972”.
Paul Evans (1931-1987) was among one of the most important American Studio Craft Movement members. Together with artists such as Wharton Esherick and George Nakashima, he helped to make the Philadelphia region a prominent center for the Studio Craft in the late 1960s. Born in Newton, Pennsylvania, Evans studied at a few different institutions such as the Philadelphia Textile Institute, the Rochester Institute of Technology, School for American Craftsman, and the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Eventually, he was drawn to New Hope, Pennsylvania, in 1955 where he collaborated and shared a showroom with Phillip Lloyd Powell until 1966. Powell’s woodwork and Evans' metal craftsmanship combined into a creative partnership. During this period, he started to create furniture with metal and sculpture by which he manipulated materials to achieve expressive surface effects. In 1964, Evans started working for the Directional Furniture company where he pursued a new phase of his career. Directional offered him new opportunities for selling his work throughout the US and he continuously introduced new lines. However, his line proved to be too expensive and by the end of the seventies, he ended his relationship with the company. It was also throughout the seventies that Evans started to replace these crusty, textured surfaced, that were patinated with paint and acid, with dazzling, reflective metal surfaces that were sometimes mixed with woods. Evans’ oeuvre has an impressive size especially when regarding all pieces were handmade. On March 6, 1987, the artist shut down his business and, unfortunately, died the next day due to a heart attack.
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