March 15, 2012

The Master of the Avenue B School of Art‏

image
What a thrill it was tonight:  Not only to be in a room arrayed with an abundance of amazing collages by one of my idols, John Evans, but to actually meet him!  And to tell him that he has been a great influence and inspiration for my own collage practice.  He was holding court at the Pavel Zoubok Gallery in Chelsea, at a reception celebrating the publication of a book of his works from the year 1984.

image

For decades, Evans made daily collages in bound books on heavy paper, applying collected gems of ephemera from his East Village neighborhood and life to grounds of watercolor wash, bound by hand-drawn borders—each page date-stamped.  Ducks were his Ninas, and they were all lined up at the gallery this evening, as a continuous motif along the bottoms of his works.  Intimate in size, each piece is about 8” x 5”; each page has been carefully extracted by X-acto knife and metal ruler from Evans’ notebooks.

image

People love his work for different reasons:  Some are attracted to the dates—Valentine’s day, today, the Ides of March, their birthdays. Others love to interrogate the jewel-like content—stamps, ornate fabric swatches, candy foils, ads, cookie fortunes, found notes, packaging labels. Then there is his signature formalism, the way he incorporates pasted objects with paint, ink,color and wit that magically coalesce into totemic sculpture, akin to the way Leger made 2-D look 3-D. 

I also learned John Evans is a father of twins!

Subscribe

Archive

March 2012

Categories