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Paul Evans Furniture

American, 1931-1987

A designer and sculptor, Paul Evans was a wild card of late 20th century modernism. A leading light of the American Studio Furniture movement, Evans’s sideboards, credenzas, coffee tables and other work manifests a singular aesthetic sense, as well as a seemingly contradictory appreciation for both folk art forms and for new materials and technologies.

Evans’s primary material was metal, not wood, which was favored by his fellow studio designers, and Bucks County, Pennsylvania, neighbors George Nakashima and Phillip Lloyd Powell. He trained in metallurgy and studied at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, the famed crucible of modern design and art in suburban Detroit. For a time early in his career, Evans also worked at Sturbridge Village, a historical “living museum” in Massachusetts, where he gave demonstrations as a costumed silversmith.

Evans’s earliest work unites these influences. The pieces that made his reputation are known as “sculpted-front” cabinets: wood cases faced with box-like high-relief patinated steel mounts laid out in a grid pattern. Each mount contains a metal emblem, or glyph, and the effect is that of a brawny quilt.

Evans’s later work falls into three distinct style groups. His sculpted-bronze pieces, begun in the mid-1960s, show Evans at his most expressive. He employed a technique in which resin is hand-shaped, and later sprayed with a metal coating, allowing for artistic nuance in the making of chairs, tables and case pieces. Later in the decade and into the 1970s, Evans produced his Argente series for celebrated manufacturer Directional (​​a brand known to vintage mid-century modern furniture collectors everywhere): consoles and other furniture forms that feature aluminum and pigment-infused metal surfaces welded into abstract organic forms and patterns.

Last, Evans's Cityscape design series — a milestone in the history of brutalist design — meshed perfectly with the sleek, “high tech” sensibility of the later ’70s. Evans constructed boxy forms and faced them with irregular mosaic patterns that mixed rectangular plaques of chromed steel, bronze or burlwood veneer. These, like all of Paul Evans’s designs, are both useful and eye-catching. But their appeal has another, more visceral quality: these pieces have clearly been touched by an artist’s hand.

Find a collection of authentic Paul Evans furniture today on 1stDibs.

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Creator: Paul Evans
Dealer: MICHAEL HEROLD
Paul Evans Cityscape Cubist Dining Chairs Mid-Century Modern Boucle Fabric 1970s
By Barbara Barry, Paul Evans
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Set of 4 Iconic Paul Evans PE240 Directional Cityscape Cubist Mid-Century Modern dining chairs. Back and seat cushions are soft and comfortable. Features sturdy wooden chair frame wi...
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1970s Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paul Evans Furniture

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Paul Evans furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Paul Evans furniture are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of metal and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Paul Evans furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. Many of the original furniture by Paul Evans were created in the mid-century modern style in north america during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Widdicomb Furniture Co., Mastercraft, and Harvey Probber. Prices for Paul Evans furniture can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $713 and can go as high as $220,000, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $11,832.

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