Artful Green Dot

Alan Sonfist’s Time Landscape

Posted in Uncategorized by Audrey Tran on June 18, 2009

Alan Sonfist Time Landscape The Time Landscape sits peacefully on the corner of LaGuardia Place and Houston Street, as busy walkers bustle around it everyday.   I’ve overlooked this earthwork for the past four years, perhaps because at first glance, it seems like any other  fenced garden, only a bit overgrown.  It’s also situated right next door to another community garden full of vegetables and neatly tended flowers.  However, Sonfist’s work asks viewers to think of their environment in ways that a normal garden doesn’t.

This fenced plot, installed in ’78, holds a “primeval forest,” made up of Pre-colonial plants that inhabited Manhattan before settlers began transforming it into the concrete landscape we know today. With this in mind, I see Sonfist’s piece as an intervention in daily life, much like a  living timecapsule that holds live objects.   Unlike others in the 1960’s Land Art Movement, Sonfist created an earthwork that exists alongside nature instead of in domination of it.

I took these photos this past weekend.  On  there are a few dozen pictures that capture the landscape as a whole, but  here, I’ve decided to post images that show some of the intimate details of the Time Landscape.  Regardless of what pictures you might see, every New Yorker should visit this piece at least once.











While taking these pictures, I found myself stooping awkwardley around the fence to get scenes of the landscapes interior, but I realize now that it must have been Sonfist’s intention to view the landscape in conjunction with the world around it.

Alan_Sonfist Timelandscape


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