It has been an art-world puzzlement for nearly 50 years, but the mystery of the Slant Step appears to have been solved.
The Slant Step is an eccentric, near-mythic object in the annals of 1960s Bay Area “funk” art. A found object, it looks like something produced in junior high shop class that didn’t get a passing grade.
Constructed from a stained wood frame covered in black rubber and green linoleum, now well worn, it suggests an ordinary step stool -- the kind you might keep in the kitchen for those occasions when you need to reach all the way to the back of the uppermost cabinet.
Except for one thing: The tread on the big, blocky stool tilts downward toward the...