Modern Design 28 March 2013

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Paul Evans

cabinet, model PE 42

Paul Evans Studio for Directional
USA, 1964
welded and enameled steel, slate
96 w x 22 d x 31¼ h in (244 x 56 x 79 cm)

result: $32,500

estimate: $20,000–30,000

Cabinet features four doors concealing two storage compartments. Welded signature and date to door: [Paul Evans 64].

literature: Directional, manufacturer’s catalog, unpaginated

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Paul Evans Studio for Directional

A Prolific Collaboration

In 1964, B. G. Mesberg, founder of the venerable furniture manufacturer Directional, sought a designer to replace Paul McCobb who severed his longtime relationship with the manufacturer after a dispute. Mesberg was already familiar with the work of a young metalworker named Paul Evans, and the two men quickly developed a rapport. When Mesberg hired Evans to design a handful of coffee tables with copper and steel bases, he could not have imagined the prolific collaboration which would unfold over the next eighteen years.

Paul Evans and Dorsey Reading. Paul Evans: Sculptor & Designer, Head, p. 6

Early designs for Directional, like this cabinet of magnificent proportions, were made in Paul Evans’s studio in Lambertsville, New Jersey. It was not until 1970 that Evans opened a 30,000 square foot factory in Plumsteadville, Pennsylvania to produce works exclusively for Directional.

Page from the 1968 Directional catalog.

Advertised as "Sculptured Metal by Paul Evans" in the 1968 Directional catalog, this attractive early cabinet features steel doors rather than a steel facade affixed to wood or plywood as found in Evans's later designs. Laboriously hand-forged, the cabinet is signature Evans: baroquely modern, unforgettable in form.
Evans’s work is virtually free of historical reference. Influences are unknown, non-existent.

—Jeffrey Head