Stone and metal, usually granite or slate and found object steel are central in my sculpture. The interaction of these materials is a major focus. On the most basic level the work is about the marriage of the natural with the human-made.

Stone is used as an assemblage element, the way a welder uses steel, rather than in the traditional manner of subtraction. In contrast to the timelessness of stone, the found-object metal (sometimes cast bronze) is time-specific – 20th century industrial. The industrial / structural characteristics inherent in the metal are often employed to physically connect or suspend stone elements allowing a “choreographing” or “floating” of stone. At their best, a compelling visual / physical irony is created.

The works strives to communicate on a number of different levels; physical, symbolic, metaphorical. The duality of an eastern or oriental acceptance of stone and a 20th century industrial American “can do” attitude toward metal is central to the work and an important characteristic that distinguishes it.


John Van Alstine