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Many people don’t realize John Van Alstine’s four-decades long sculpture owes much to an accident while he was a graduate student at Cornell University in the 1970s

It was at this time, something unexpected happened: “I was working on the third “wedge” piece and was almost finished, so I propped it up and stepped back to take a final look from a distance. Suddenly it began to tip, falling away from me; I watched helplessly as the marble crashed to the floor-I was devastated. I walked around in a daze for what seemed like an hour."
“When I finally pulled myself together and started to look carefully at the scattered shards, the fresh, clean, crystalline surface of the broken areas caught my eye. It was like a light went off. I picked up a couple of the largest pieces and began to set them in angled positions to reveal the fragmented surfaces. “I am not sure I realized it fully then, but this seemingly unfortunate event was the beginning of something important.“

Van Alstine reassembles it on the table into a radically different sculpture. With jagged surfaces exposed, the resulting sculpture, two elements are pinned to a polished stainless-steel plate, precariously positioned, creating a cascade-like sensation. "Falling Stone", 1975 was the first work to have “broken” or “raw” surfaces that would later be a central element of his vernacular.
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