Alan Sonfist: Time Landscape

About the Exhibition

Architect Charles Libby, artist Alan Sonfist (b.1946, New York City, NY), and botanist Larry Perdue have been assisted by the Public Arts Council of the Municipal Art Society to realize their very exciting Time Landscape project, the reconstruction of a forest.

Manhattan was originally a forest. Gradually, as the city evolved, natural streams and trees were obliterated and substituted by imported trees and plants. Thus the city lost touch with its natural origins; the green areas that existed were completely unconnected to the historical ecological realities of Manhattan. The Time Landscape project is an aesthetic bridge to this heritage, from the past to the future through the present. This environmental public sculpture is called Time Landscape because it shows simultaneously the three basic stages in time of an historical forest, which will constantly recycle itself under the contemporary environmental conditions.

The project is situated in Greenwich Village. The local community board and the residents, representing a diverse socio-economic citizenry, have fully endorsed the project. They have volunteered to maintain the site at no cost to the city. The New York State Parks Council has recognized the educational value of the project and has committed funds to the publication of booklets dealing with the ecological and artistic importance of the site.

Benjamin Patterson, Assistant Director of Cultural Affairs for the City of New York Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs Administration, stated that Sonfist’s efforts “should provide a most dramatic and educational ecology statement. I can think of no more effective site in the United States than this tiny plot in Midtown Manhattan.”



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