John Evans American, b. 1932


Born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, John Evans is a collage artist working in Greenwich Village of New York City from discarded items he has collected from 1964 through 2000. When asked why he decided to quit making collages, he said that it is like knowing when to stop working on a painting---there is a sense of having come to an end.

The collage materials are random objects that caught his eye on the streets of the East Village" and include ticket stubs, cigarette butts, product labels, business cards, etc. After each of his collection days, he would create a collage from the days' gatherings, using inexpensive notebook paper, and then rubber-stamp it with the date. By the end of 2000, he had more than ten-thousand collages filling 100 notebooks that are crammed into small book cases, under his bed and in trunks. It has been written that individual pages glow like stain glass.

From these notebooks, a book has been produced titled 'John Evans: Collages', and it is a pictorial diary of John Evans' work and life.

John Evans grew up in Sioux Falls in and Redondo Beach, California. He earned a an MFA in 1963 from the Art Institute of Chicago and then moved to New York. He has had grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pollack-Krasner Foundation, and has been Artist-in-Residence in Glumso, Denmark. However, most of his career he has lived in New York City and with his wife, Margaret, has raised twin daughters, both of whom are artists. To earn money, he has held jobs in mail processing at the Metropolitan Museum, driving a cab, framing paintings and watering plants in Manhattan offices which he dignifies with the title of 'horticultural technician'.

His fame has been modest, perhaps explained in an 'Art in America' review, 10/98: 'Evan's art has been penalized for its honesty, modesty, wit and warmth.' In 2002-2003, the New-York Historical Society held an exhibition of his work, which was described as a 'stunning visual record of Evans's journey and our own through the last four decades of the 20th century.'