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Howard N. Fox
Emeritus curator of contemporary art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
In this handsomely designed and sumptuously illustrated publication, author Tim Kane provides an illuminating overview of John Van Alstine's art and the creative bloodline that flows through his professional, intellectual, and personal development, from his undergraduate student days through his early Washington, DC-based career, to his prominent place among a generation of modern sculptors both nationally and internationally. Kane probes the relationship of Van Alstine's sculpture to nature with special attention to his veneration of the distinctly north American landscape and the esteemed nineteenth-century Hudson River School of wilderness painting. American Vistas is a must-have volume for all who admire Van Alstine's art.
William R. Cross
Author of recent (2022) biography, “Winslow Homer: American Passage” published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York. Chair of the advisory board of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture
“This beautiful volume — like the work it illuminates — makes a distinctive contribution. John van Alstine's considerable gifts as a sculptor are rooted in his love of the land, and of the materials intrinsic to the American terroir. Tim Kane explains van Alstine's work in the context of his sense of purpose, and his understanding of what it means to be American. At last, we can see this major sculptor in context, as heir to the legacy of painters such as Homer, Luminists from Cole to Durand to Gifford, and American Modernists such as Rockwell Kent. Should we not also consider van Alstine in the context of Turrell, Goldsworthy and Lin?”
Caroline M. Welsh,
Art Historian and Director Emerita, Adirondack Museum
American Vistas: The Life and Art of John Van Alstine reveals just that for one of America's great modernist and contemporary artists. Tim Kane's singular contribution with this handsome companion volume to The Artist Book Foundation's John Van Alstine: Sculpture 1971-2018 is his insightful interpretation of the biographical details of the artist's life as architect and author of his creative expressions. The landscapes of Van Alstine's life-the Adirondacks, the West, Maine plus the dynamism of New York City-are fundamental to the artist's vocabulary and vision. Mentors, family, art and literature, and serendipity all play a role but Van Alstine has always been the brains and the brawn in his creative process. The resulting sculptures span five decades and stand testament to this artist's exceptional and ongoing artistic journey as he explores the themes of life in nature, stone and steel.
Pulitzer Prize-winning co-author of Jackson Pollock: An American Saga and Van Gogh: The Life
The publication of the gorgeous new book on the art of John Van Alstine, American Vistas , is a perfect opportunity to review the artist's career, one that now spans fifty years. A major figure in American sculpture over that entire period, Van Alstine has combined elements of metal and stone to create a large body of works that are thrilling both in the splendid, rugged materials that he uses and in their dynamic and elegant juxtaposition.
Opalka Endowed Director of the New York State Writers Institute at the University at Albany, award-winning journalist and author of several books
American Vistas: The Life and Art of John Van Alstine tells the story of a great American sculptor. Major museums across the United States and internationally collect his work, which is abstract, monumental, and elemental. As this book makes clear, his sculptures are borne of the faded upstate industrial city where he grew up and gritty North Country landscape where he has lived for decades. As an artist, he is a master of the alchemy created by heat and pressure and physics applied to stone and steel. This coffee table book merges stunning images, penetrating prose, and a deep dive into Van Alstine's artistic process across an impressive fifty-year career. Van Alstine and author Tim Kane, an art critic and journalist, are a perfect pairing. They prove true the adage, “Every artist needs a writer, and every writer needs an artist.”
Prof. Emeritus, University of Wyoming, 2/10/2023
Independent curator, author/journalist and educator, Tim Kane, provides us with a large, exquisite, beautifully illustrated volume, on the prolific career of sculptor, John Van Alstine. Both, live and work in the Adirondack region of upstate New York and Kane illustrates – among other insights – the deep connections between Van Alstine's artistic temperament and physical workspace, and the Adirondack wilderness environment within our current art-historical moment. More than a pictorial biography, it is a primer for a substantive and beautiful life of artistic expression.
Kane's volume aptly displays Van Alstine's aesthetically and kinetically protean artistic eras, but this dedication to the dichotomy of stone and steel, symbolizing nature and humanity, wilderness and industry, is present throughout American Vistas and Van Alstine's work as a whole.
Nick Capasso, Ph.D.
Director, Fitchburg Art Museum
Former Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs, DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
American Vistas is a beautiful and comprehensive presentation of the work of one of America's foremost sculptors, John Van Alstine. Tim Kane's text for this monograph is exciting, insightful, and inspired. His consideration of the artist's work ranges widely, encompassing materials, forms, landscapes, myth, and even COVID-19. American Vistas is an important contribution to the history of American sculpture.