John Evans made collages every day for nearly forty years using discarded material found on the streets of New York. His disciplined and idiosyncratic practice recorded life in an earnest manner, capturing the minutiae of his changing neighborhood, art scene and city. Evans was a key artist in the mail art movement, and recorded his correspondence with his contemporaries in his detailed diary.
John Evans (1932–2012) was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He lived and worked for most of his life in the East Village, New York.
Inspired by Hannah Höch, Joseph Cornell and Kurt Schwitters, Evans developed a highly site-specific practice that responded to materials found in his immediate environment. His collages are made from a range of detritus, including: business cards, fortune cookie aphorisms, newspaper clippings, receipts, passport and family photographs, box labels, stickers, embroidered fabric, envelopes and pencil shavings. Each collage, dutifully stamped with the day, month and year of its making, marks a singular moment in time as well as the evolving vision of an artist living in and of the world.
Solo exhibitions of his work have taken place at: the New-York Historical Society; the Morris Museum in Morristown, New Jersey; The Arts Club of Chicago; Pavel Zoubok Fine Art in New York; Cordier & Ekstrom in New York; and Gracie Mansion Gallery in New York; among others. Evans’ work has also been shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Group exhibitions include: Elizabeth Leach Gallery in Portland, Oregon; Pavel Zoubok Fine Art in New York; P.P.O.W. in New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn Harbor, New York; and the XVI Bienal de São Paulo in Brazil.
His work is included in the collections of the Archives of American Art, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and the Morgan Library and Museum in New York.