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JOHN VAN ALSTINE SCULPTURE 1971–2018 Foreword and Essay by


Contributions by

Tom Moran Tim Kane John Van Alstine



FOREWORD Howard N. Fox



Tom Moran





DRAWING John Van Alstine



Acknowledgments 241 Chronology 243 Selected Grants, Fellowships, Awards, Media Coverage, and Lectures 253 Selected Collections, Commissions, and Installations 257 Selected Group and Solo Exhibitions 261 Selected Bibliography 269 Photography Credits 275 Index 277



ohn Van Alstine has enjoyed a four-decade-long career as a sculptor, draftsman, installation

artist, creator of large-scale public art commissions, and a distinguished teacher at several universities; he has also lectured widely since leaving academe in 1986. His work has been featured in innumerable solo and group exhibitions at museums and galleries from San Francisco to New York, from Sun Valley to Flagstaff, and from Seattle to Miami, as well as internationally. He has earned more than a dozen prestigious awards, grants, and fellowships, and his art is represented in eminent public collections across the United States. It is fitting that this book—published by The Artist Book Foundation, with the New York Foundation for the Arts (both not-for-profit organizations) providing “fiscal sponsorship” of individual contributions to the publication—surveys and reflects on Van Alstine’s formidable artistic achievement. I first encountered Van Alstine’s art in about 1978, while a cub curator at the Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden on the National Mall in Washington, DC. I was conducting research on my first major exhibition, Directions—the 1979 debut of a series of shows focusing on specific new tendencies and affinities developing spontaneously, and somewhat simultaneously, among various contemporary artists wherever they might be working. The conceptual philosophy of the Directions Series was that contemporary art was no longer centralized in two or three international art “capitals”—New York, London, Berlin were the art “biggies,” or “bullies,” at that time—but that developments in contemporary art were now more like an ungoverned and ungovernable free-for-all transpiring almost anywhere. Directions, as I look back on it, was a prescient “antenna” sensing what has since come to be recognized as the globalization of the contemporary art world, in which anybody, working anywhere, might be able to produce and show anything, somewhere in the art world. In 1978, John Van Alstine was teaching and making sculpture at the University of Wyoming in Laramie; I discovered him in Washington, DC, in the research library of the Hirshhorn Museum—a comfortable, quiet, specialized work space for curatorial research just steps away from my desk in a noisy corridor in the office area of the museum. The Hirshhorn was then still a

Nature of Stone I, 1976. Granite and steel, 33¾ x 69¼ x 43¾ in., 500 lb. (85.7 x 175.9 x 111.1 cm, 226.8 kg). Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Anonymous gift in honor of Rose R. and Anthony M. Macchiavelli, 1979, 79.273.


John Van Alstine: Momentum, Myth, and Inevitability


riven by his ambition, John Van Alstine enters his fifth decade of consistent studio activity in

the creation of sculptures and public art commissions in his New York studio and at sites around the world. His seemingly endless curiosity about the physical process and possibility of sculpture is his motivation to create works that combine sheer physicality and the contradictions of natural forces. Overarching creativity and process is his steadfast commitment to working with traditional materials of stone and steel amidst an ever-changing world of technology and flatness. Van Alstine’s focus on this challenge is indicative of the passion he possesses for his art. The responses to his work articulated by critics, historians, and museums are testimony to his success after many years of intense studio activity. This monograph chronicles John’s life and work for posterity and brings together all of the elements of his creative legacy for generations to come. Although he remains very active in his artistic pursuits, the depth and breadth of his work is most worthy of a thorough examination of his oeuvre that stands the test of time. John moved to his Bright Street studio in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1983 after teaching in Wyoming and a brief stay in Washington, DC. When he arrived, he was already a noted sculptor whose focus was working in stone. The studio was located a short distance from the Hudson River waterfront, which was the sad home to abandoned piers and declining port industries such as propeller manufacturers, ship-repair facilities, scrap yards, and tugboat companies. Jersey City, the industrial center that gave the world the Dixon Ticonderoga #2 pencil, was clearly in transition. Like other riverside communities encircling New York City, it offered more affordable space compared to Manhattan, the SoHo-gallery and artist-loft mecca. Jersey City was home to many visual artists because it offered old and vacant manufacturing spaces. Artists, the likes of Van Alstine, could thrive there and he certainly didn’t ignore the opportunity. The Bright Street studio offered the right conditions for him to extend the possibilities of stone sculpture into material combinations with bronze, steel, iron, and aluminum in the form of found objects. Many such items began to arrive in the studio from John’s foraging through the scrap from the nearby port industries.

4th Beast of Daniel, 1983. Granite and steel, 95⅛ x 143¼ x 59 in. (241.6 x 363.9 x 149.9 cm). Collection of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Anonymous gift.


embodies much of what he has been working on over the past four decades with a particularly successful scaling-up of the work from the study maquette. It is executed in a beautiful color palette of granite and steel. The elements are a graceful reflection of Van Alstine’s unique sensibility for capturing the right composition, one that implies framing, movement, grace, and inevitability. Mythic in title, it is an important sculpture and public artwork that represents the best of Van Alstine’s creativity. Fortunately, he has had the opportunity to continue his public sculpture projects around the world as opportunities have arisen. He was invited to create one of his largest public sculptures for the Beijing Olympic Park as a part of the 2008 games. Internationally, his works are on view in United States embassies around the world such as those in Jamaica and Nepal. Van Alstine continues his distinctive explorations of form and compositional prowess that have evolved across the decades of his activity. Defined by his work in stone and steel, he still defies gravity with his technical ability to link disparate materials in gestural sculptures. The earth continues to be omnipresent in many of the pieces since the stone and steel portals or arcs drawn in space define the view beyond. A stunning sense of seductive color continues to evolve across a growing spectral palette. British sculptor Sir Anthony Caro said, “You must devote yourself entirely to art, it must become your life and that means twenty-four hours a day. You must eat art, sleep with art and dream of art. Art is a strict, demanding master, but also marvelous and gratifying.”1 John Van Alstine epitomizes the sculptor who has committed himself to his art. Such inevitability of purpose and commitment along with his deep reservoir of talent and creativity will certainly mean that we have much to look forward to from Van Alstine in the years ahead. Tom Moran Chief Curator, Grounds For Sculpture Hamilton, New Jersey 2018



Consuelo Císcar Casabán, “Anthony Caro: A Monument to the Soul,” in Anthony Caro, an exhibition catalogue (Valencia, Spain: IVAM Institut Valencia d’Art Modern, 2005), 34.

Tipping the Balance


ohn Van Alstine is well known and eminently regarded within the world of contemporary

American sculpture, primarily for his stone-and-steel constructions and large-scale projects in public places, but also as a faculty member and mentor for many studio-art majors and as an artist-in-residence or visiting lecturer at numerous universities throughout the United States. Over the years, from his student days in the 1970s to the present, Van Alstine has developed an exceptionally rich and adaptable sculptural vocabulary—a distinctive artistic idiom—that continues to evolve, initially in his studio and later in private and public collections both nationally and internationally. Any chronological overview of his forty-some-year oeuvre would focus on the progression of his sculptural idiom and thinking about the nature of his materials, his artistic objectives, and his perception of his position within the history of modern and contemporary sculpture. This essay specifically explores the evolution, over several decades, of Van Alstine’s “obeisance” to constructing stringently defined sculptures that maintained their forms through a precisely calibrated deployment of cantilevering, balance, and counterbalance of his restricted materials— mainly stone and steel—to a far more freeform artist-driven inventiveness and free play of the imagination, both his own and the viewer’s. Van Alstine’s student sculptures from about 1971 through the mid-seventies (when he was an undergraduate at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York; then at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio; and later as a graduate student at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York) were firmly

FIG. 3. Flight, 1971. Welded steel, 57 x 36 x 40 in. (144.8 x 91.4 x 101.6 cm). Collection of the artist.

rooted in the Modernist tradition. His earliest documented work, Flight (fig. 3), a gracefully parabolic string-and-metal composition, recalls the early Constructivist works by Antoine Pevsner or Naum Gabo, who also used string and solid materials in geometric arrangements. Other student works in carved, polished wood or marble were distinctly biomorphic in form, evoking living creatures—birds, fish, human bodies—quite plainly in homage to such esteemed Modernists as Henry Moore, Constantin Brâncuşi, and Jean Arp. Van Alstine’s sleek, organic, and pleasing forms echoed an aesthetic with which many artists and museum visitors were quite familiar and


Reconfiguring the Figure


gray stone is positioned as if climbing up a circle of steel. As it protrudes outside the ring,

it seems to attempt an escape from its enclosed confines. But one small section of the slate remains firmly tethered to the loop, foiling any idea of liberation from its circular prison. At the bottom of the circle, a tiny steel fragment, much like a cleat, acts as a wedge that tips the sculpture forward into the endless space beyond. Caught in the sense of perpetual motion, the stone is transformed by the steel from its natural state to a very human predicament of being stuck in an endless task. Yet there is not the presence of a single human. Made in 2005, Sisyphean Circle I (fig. 12) echoes the Greek myth about toil and punishment, and it is included in one of Van Alstine’s longest-running series that examines work, reward, creativity, and life’s journey. He made the first sculpture in the series in 1993 when his work was beginning a major transformation from a purely abstract aesthetic to a more figurative style that would recast his oeuvre for decades to come. These works are not figurative per se, but semirepresentational; they suggest a human presence, implied through gestural motifs illustrated by the stone and steel. As in the Sisyphean Series, Van Alstine, more often than not, provides no trace of the figure’s physical dimensions and only alludes to them. It is through arrangement, allegory, and at times, insinuation that the figure emerges—if not in the sculptures themselves then in the negative space surrounding them. There are several reasons for the arrival of the figure in Van Alstine’s process after 20 years of a steadily ascending career that began with his “brute” sculpture of the 1970s and continued with his wild and flowing “constructions” reflecting his interaction with New York City’s urban density. A growing interest in the human drama and all its frailties, a rekindling of his affinity for the human form, and a move out of the urban environment to the secluded Adirondacks in upstate New York all came together by the early 1990s to push his work forward in a new direction. All of these creative changes were the antithesis of the cold, rigid, “truth to materials” doctrine that he employed in his formative years. At first glance, as Van Alstine acknowledges, the emergence

FIG. 12. Sisyphean Circle I, 2005. Slate and steel, 25 x 34 x 9 in. (63.5 x 86.4 x 22.9 cm). Private collection.


employing fresh ways to inject human-related content into his object-oriented compositions. Like the British sculptors, multiple narratives now appeared in Van Alstine’s production that were absent from his previous works. These narratives were presented by several reoccurring themes, including not only mythology but navigation, implements or tools, the human body, precarious balance, and dance and choreography. As these narratives have unfolded in his work during the past 20 or so years, a new idiom has formed, sparked, in large part, by ancient Western fables, particularly the classical Greek themes. For Van Alstine, Greek mythology is central to his oeuvre and it may be the single most important element. It appears as far back as his first stone sculptures as a student in the 1970s, but mythology and the figure aren’t in full form until the Sisyphean Series beginning in the early 1990s. Where the forces of nature and the tension of steel once dictated his work, the adoption of classical storylines creates scenes in which gods and humans play out the universal struggles and triumphs of existence. The Sisyphean myth is traditionally interpreted as a tale about rebellion against an entrenched power structure and the suffering that results when the system strikes back: in this case, a life


FIG. 13. Ring of Unity–Circle of Inclusion, 2008. Stone and steel, 18 x 16 x 6 ft. (5.5 x 4.9 x 1.8 m). Beijing Olympic Circle, Beijing, China.

FIG. 14. Amalthea IV, 2001. Bronze and granite, 28 x 19 x 9 in. (71.1 x 48.3 x 22.9 cm). Collection of the artist.

sentence of futile hard labor, rolling a boulder up a hill only to see it plummet back down once it reaches the top. For Van Alstine, the Sisyphean Series, made in a range of sizes and compositions, including his monumental work Ring of Unity–Circle of Inclusion (fig. 13) that was unveiled

FIG. 15. Icarus (Frail Wings of Vanity), 2010. Slate and pigmented and sealed steel, 34 x 43 x 9 in. (86.4 x 109.2 x 22.9 cm). Collection of the artist.

at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, is an ongoing commentary about sculpting itself: lugging stone around, making one work after another to no apparent end, and then doing it all over again. From 1973 to 2017, Van Alstine completed more than 200 works using mythological themes; nearly 100 of them referenced Sisyphus. With works like Labyrinth Trophy I, 1996 (plate 36), Amalthea IV (fig. 14), and Icarus (Frail Wings of Vanity) (fig. 15), Van Alstine returns to Greek and Roman literature time and again, finding the poignant human element more clearly with each passing year. Instead of dwelling on the traditional superstructure of myths, he personalizes them to grasp their deeper, more intimate significance at an individual level. He doesn’t use Western mythology as a didactic tool to offer deep ethical and moral considerations; instead, he uses it to provide a context for examining the emotional and psychological aspects of the human endeavor. This idea lends itself to what he calls “self-referential” works that grapple with society and individual expression, sometimes his own, rather than proffering specific lessons about how events have played out as history has unfolded. In a 2015 interview, he said: “My references to mythology aren’t about teaching a lesson, or a moralizing message. They are a way to define the universality of the collective experience of being human and all that it entails, and they connect us as individuals to the greater whole.” 7




rawing is fun. It’s of the moment. Improvisational. Straightforward. And it’s very different from

sculpture. It fulfills needs not satisfied when working with stone and steel, materials that dictate a process that is often slow and methodical. Drawings have a complex relationship with my sculpture; many explore the same ideas or similar iconographic themes, while others are intuitive musings that may, or may not, be realized in three dimensions. Unlike sculpture, where the physical realities of the three-dimensional space intercede, the drawings are free from those constraints. My drawings are created with a sense of directness similar to Japanese calligraphy, “in the moment” expressions that are fresh and focused without revision. In sculpture, it’s easy to overthink things; the process is long and plodding, full of tinkering and reworking, fitting and shaping. It’s easy to lose spontaneity. Not so with drawings. The more time I spend on them, the greater the chance they become overworked; they lose their improvisational freshness and have to be discarded. Working this way is for me a bit like fishing—some are “keepers” while others have to be thrown back. Although they are often related to my sculpture, my drawings stand on their own as separate series and are not fixed on the idea that each individual effort is the “be all and end all.” Drawing has provided me with the ability to explore many facets of an idea over years, even decades, resulting in an important body of work that casts a different light on my creativity. As a result, dramatic new expressions emerge; as curator Nick Capasso in Bones of the Earth, Spirit of the Land writes, “Objects teeter, swirl, loom, lurch, and lean,” resulting in a unique vision.1 My drawings generally fall into three categories: FANTASY Drawings like Full Support, 1989 (plate 143), or Sphere with Spikes, 1990 (plate 146), explore, in a free-wheeling way, elements or objects typically used in my sculpture; vessels, cones, spheres, spirals, stones, and tools are often untethered, free-floating, sometimes in imagined landscapes. These works, disconnected from reality, can morph into visions or concepts that often find their way into future 3-D works.

Charcoal sketches hang in the artist’s studio, Washington, DC, 1982.





PLATE 2. Gate, 1973. Vermont marble, 30 x 12 x 2 in. (76.2 x 30.2 x 5.1 cm). Collection of the artist.



PLATE 76. Sisyphean Circle (Beijing IV), 2008. Slate and bronze, 17 x 26½ x 4 in. (43.2 x 67.3 x 10.2 cm). Private collection.

PLATE 77. Sisyphean Circle (Beijing VIII), 2008. Slate and pigmented steel, 14½ x 17 x 5 in. (36.8 x 35.6 x 12.7 cm). Private collection.



PLATE 78. Sisyphean Circle (Beijing VI), 2008. Slate and pigmented steel, 11½ x 19 x 4 in. (29.2 x 48.3 x 10.2 cm). Private collection. OPPOSITE

PLATE 79. Detail of Sisyphean Circle (Beijing VI), plate 78.





PLATE 146. Sphere with Spikes, 1990. Pastel, charcoal, and mixed media on paper, 41 x 29½ in. (104.1 x 74.9 cm). Private collection. PLATE 147. Acciaccato, 2004. Pastel, charcoal, and gesso on paper, 20 x 30 in. (50.8 x 76.2 cm). Private collection.


Chronology 1952

Born August 14 in Gloversville, NY, to Richard and Audrey Van Alstine.


Lives in Johnstown, NY. Father is plant superintendent at Knox Gelatin Inc.; mother raises John and two younger brothers, Mark (b. 1954) and Eric (b. 1957).


Attends public school in Johnstown; excels in athletics and begins competitive skiing. Father starts building family “summer camp” at nearby Caroga Lake, NY, in the southern Adirondacks; John is involved in camp construction and other DIY projects, exposing him early on to working with his hands.


Attends Johnstown High School and meets Jennifer Foss in 1966 (they marry in 1972). Takes electives in art as well as lettering in football, track, and skiing all four years; wins New York State High School title of “best overall skier” in junior and senior years. Competitive skiing takes him all over the Adirondacks and New England, exposing him to glacial rock formations. Graduates in June 1970. With close friend John Ruppert (now a well-known sculptor), travels to Kennebunkport, ME, for a summer job. Connects with the landscape and the water-eroded coastline, and returns for the next three summers.


Attends St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, because of skiing opportunities and proximity to Foss, who is a theater major at SUNY Potsdam. Foss is a major influence on his move toward the arts, introducing him to her circle of friends in theater, dance, music, literature, and the visual arts.


Enrolls in first college sculpture class and produces first steel sculptures, Flight (fig. 3) and The Cellist.


Marries Foss in September. Declares art as major and decides St. Lawrence doesn’t have the adequate studios or curriculum. Together they enroll at Kent State in Ohio, Foss in the master’s program in theater and Van Alstine in the BFA program.


While at Kent, works on direct metal assemblage, stone and wood carving, glass blowing, and ceramics.


Meets David and Diane Jenkins, and joins them in developing their production pottery business, The Good Earth Pottery, in Kennebunkport, ME, where he and Foss spend the next four summers. Creates first stone sculpture Gaea, (p. 18). Participates in first professional juried exhibition, The Cleveland May Show, at the Cleveland Museum, a major regional exhibit where he sells his

Van Alstine in Kennebunkport, ME, 1971.

first sculpture, Untitled (Kiss I) (plate 1). Awarded full scholarship to summer session at Blossom Festival School, Cleveland and Kent, Ohio, where he works with visiting sculptors Richard Stankiewicz and Richard Hunt.


The artist in his 57 N Street studio working on NMAA Wedge, Washington, DC, 1982.


Selected Grants, Fellowships, Awards, Media Coverage, and Lectures GRANTS AND FELLOWSHIPS 2015

Fiscal Sponsorship from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Brooklyn, NY, for the monograph and retrospective exhibition project, John Van Alstine: Sculpture 1971–2018


Individual Artist Grant, Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York, NY


Resident Fellowship, Casting Institute, Art Department, SUNY Buffalo (Amherst campus), Buffalo, NY


Individual Artist Development Grant, New York State Artists, Empire State Artists Alliance, Albany, NY


Individual Artist Fellowship, New Jersey Council on the Arts, Trenton, NJ


Individual Artist fellowship in Sculpture, National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC


Artist in Residence Fellowship, Yaddo Artist Colony, Saratoga Springs, NY, July–August


Individual Artist Fellowship, New Jersey Council on the Arts, Trenton, NJ


Individual Artist Fellowship, District of Columbia Commission on the Arts, Washington, DC


Individual Artist Fellowship, Louis C. Tiffany Foundation, New York, NY Individual Artist Fellowship–Photography, Wyoming Council on the Arts, Cheyenne, WY


Grants in Aid, University of Wyoming, Laramie, work and study in Pietrasanta, Italy


Rome Prize Fellowship, American Academy in Rome, finalist Faculty Development Grant, University of Wyoming, Laramie, tour of standing-stone sites in England and Scotland


Graduate Fellowship, Cornell University Ithaca, NY, MFA in sculpture


Full Scholarship in Sculpture, Kent Blossom Festival School of Art, Cleveland, OH


Merit Award, Olympic Park Art Committee, Beijing, China; competition for construction of largescale pubic sculpture built and installed at the Olympic Park for the 2008 Olympic Games

Detail of Sisyphean Circle LXIII, plate 108.


Individual Artist Grant, Gottlieb Foundation, New York, NY


Creative and Performing Arts Award, University of Maryland, College Park, MD


Creative and Performing Arts Award, University of Maryland, College Park, MD


Selected Collections, Commissions, and Installations SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS The Adirondack Museum, Blue Mountain Lake, NY Albany Institute of Art and History, Albany, NY Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD Bioethics Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas, Austin, TX Carnegie Institute of Art, Pittsburgh, PA Chautauqua Institution, Fowler-Kellogg Art Center, Chautauqua, NY City of Beijing, 2008 Olympic Park Exhibition Collection, Beijing, China Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, OH Delaware Museum of Art, Wilmington, DE Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO, gift of List Foundation, New York, NY Federal Reserve Board, Washington, DC Grounds For Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC Mr. & Mrs. Robert Levi Foundation, Baltimore, MD The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, TX Museum of Modern Art, Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal Newark Museum of Art, Newark, NJ The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC Tsinghua University Museum, Beijing, China U.S. State Department, ART in Embassies exhibition program: works shown at the Bolivian and Chilean embassies, Washington, DC; U.S. Embassy, Kingston, Jamaica; U.S Embassy, Katmandu, Nepal

Detail of Sisyphean Circle (Mecanique), plate 111.


Selected Group and Solo Exhibitions SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS 2018

40th Anniversary Contemporary Sculpture, Chesterwood Gardens, Stockbridge, MA


Cartography and Choreography, Laffer Gallery, Schuylerville, NY


An Exhibit of Contemporary Art: Barney Bellinger, Jonathan Sweet, Caroline Ramersdorfer, and John Van Alstine, ARThaus II, Bolton Landing, NY The Lightness of Being; Abstracts, Allyn Gallup Gallery, Sarasota, FL SOFA (Sculptural Objects Functional Art), Chicago Navy Pier, Chicago, IL; C Fine Arts, New York, NY


An Exhibit of Contemporary Art: Barney Bellinger, Jonathan Sweet, Caroline Ramersdorfer, and John Van Alstine, ARThaus II, Bolton Landing, NY Response, James Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA Summer ’14, C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore, MD


Art Hamptons Art Fair, C Fine Arts, Bridgehampton, Long Island, NY Chesterwood Contemporary Sculpture, curated by Glenn Harper, installed on the grounds of the summer studio and home of Daniel Chester French, Stockbridge, MA Elements in Alliance—Natural Visions IV: Barney Bellinger, Jonathan Sweet, Caroline Ramersdorfer, John Van Alstine, Boathouse Gallery on Lake George, Silver Bay Center, Hague, NY Sculpture at Nohra Haime, Nohra Haime Gallery, New York, NY Summer ’13, C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore, MD


Elements in Alliance—Natural Visions III: Barney Bellinger, Jonathan Sweet, Caroline Ramersdorfer, John Van Alstine, Boathouse Gallery on Lake George, Silver Bay Center, Hague, NY


Elements in Alliance—Natural Visions II: Barney Bellinger, Jonathan Sweet, Caroline Ramersdorfer, John Van Alstine, Boathouse Gallery on Lake George, Silver Bay Center, Hague, NY Houston Fine Arts Fair, C. Grimaldis Gallery, Houston, TX John Van Alstine and Caroline Ramersdorfer: Confluence of Opposites—Pantha Rhei, C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore, MD Uncommon Grounds, Bridge Gardens, Bridgehampton, NY


Abu Dhabi Art Fair 2010, Emirates Palace, United Arab Emirates Centennial Sculpture Exhibition, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China Elements in Alliance—Natural Visions: Barney Bellinger, Jonathan Sweet, Caroline Ramersdorfer, John Van Alstine, Boathouse Gallery on Lake George, Silver Bay Center, Hague, NY

Amish Easel Landscape, 1979. Private collection.



John Van Alstine, Osuna Gallery, Washington, DC


Easel Photographs, Henri Gallery, Washington, DC John Van Alstine: Sculpture, Osuna Gallery, Washington, DC


John Van Alstine: Sculpture, University of Colorado Art Museum, Boulder, CO


John Van Alstine: Sculpture, Neill Gallery, New York, NY


Gallery Drawings, West Broadway Gallery, New York, NY John Van Alstine: New Sculpture, University Art Museum, University of Colorado, Fort Collins, CO



John Van Alstine: Sculpture, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ


John Van Alstine: Sculpture, Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Prop # 3, 1979/2015. Colorado flagstone and steel, 18 x 117 x 28 in. (45.7 x 297.2 x 71.1 cm). Long-term loan to the Delaware Art Museum from Lynn Herrick Sharp.

Selected Bibliography Allen, Jane. “Fascinating Look into Sculptors’ Psyches.” Washington (DC) Times, December 1, 1983. ———. “John Van Alstine.” New Art Examiner, November 1981, 15. ———. “Playful Sculpture.” Washington (DC) Times, May 19, 1983. Amann, Gloria. “John Van Alstine.” Cover Magazine, September 1990, 16. Bjornland, Karen. “Olympic Ring of Unity.” The Daily Gazette (Schenectady, NY), June 29, 2008. ———. “Through the Mill.” Adirondack Life Magazine, At Home in the Adirondacks Edition (Jay, NY), 1998/1999, 76–82. Braman, Lisa. “John Van Alstine: Internationally Known Sculptor Breathes Life into Stone and Steel.” Adirondack Life Magazine (Jay, NY), September–October 2014: 48–49. Burchard, Hank. “Lessons of the Sun, Sand.” Washington (DC) Post, Weekend Magazine, January 18, 1991. Capasso, Nicholas. Bones of the Earth, Spirit of the Land: The Sculpture of John Van Alstine. Washington DC: Editions Ariel, 1999. Caselles, James. “John Van Alstine.” Arts Magazine (New York), January 25, 1981. ———. “John Van Alstine.” Washington (DC) Star, January 25, 1981. Cigola, Francisca. “Adirondack—Sacandaga River Sculpture Park.” Art Parks: A Tour of America’s Sculpture Parks and Gardens. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2013. Cohen, Ronny H. “Color Photography—Five New Views.” Review. ArtForum magazine 20, no. 2 (October 1981). “Contemporary Sculpture Portfolio—John Van Alstine.” Art and Antiques Magazine, June 2015: 44. Cowan, Jay. “Where Industry and Nature Meet and Make Magic.” Mountain Home Style Magazine, Summer 2008: 95–98. Craig, Ellen. “Sculpture Travels to Washington.” Hamilton County (NY) News, August 24, 1993: 13. Dorsey, John. “Awareness of Fine Lines Serves Van Alstine Well in Sculpture and Drawings.” Baltimore (MD) Sun, June 21, 1995. ———. “Duel Exhibits Act as Foil for Two Opposite, but Complementary, Artists.” Baltimore (MD) Sun, May 2, 1991, section E. ———. “Horn of Plenty: Sculpture—John Van Alstine.” Baltimore (MD) Sun, June 10, 1997. ———. “John Van Alstine.” Exhibition review. Baltimore (MD) Sun, April 12, 1984, section F. ———. “John Van Alstine.” Exhibition review. Baltimore (MD) Sun, May 11, 1988, section E. ———. “Sculptors with a Lot in Common.” Baltimore (MD) Sun, May 19, 1991, section N. ———. “Summer Shows Talent Pool Deep,” Baltimore (MD) Sun, July 6, 1998.


First Edition © 2019 The Artist Book Foundation All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Convention. Except for legitimate excerpts customary in review or scholarly publications, no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or information storage or retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher. Published in the United States by The Artist Book Foundation 1327 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247 Distributed in the United States, its territories and possessions, and Canada by ACC Distribution Distributed outside North America by ACC Distribution Publisher and Executive Director: L. Pell van Breen Art Director: David Skolkin Design: Irene Cole Editor: Deborah Thompson Proofreader: Nicole Barone Indexer: Barbara Smith Printed in Italy ISBN 978-0-9962007-7-6 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Fox, Howard N. John Van Alstine. Title: John Van Alstine : sculpture 1971-2018 / foreword and essay by Howard N. Fox ; contributions by Tom Moran, Tim Kane, John Van Alstine. Description: First edition. | North Adams : The Artist Book Foundation, [2019] | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2019021548 | ISBN 9780996200776 (alk. paper) Subjects: LCSH: Van Alstine, John, 1952---Criticism and interpretation.Classification: LCC NB237.V33 J64 2019 | DDC 730.92--dc23 LC record available at