Alan Sonfist


Selected texts regarding the work of Alan Sonfist.

Nature The End of Art

Jonathan Carpenter (Author), Robert Rosenblum (Introduction)
Publication Date: May 15, 2013

Alan Sonfist: Corings 1971 - 2012

Lawrence Alloway (Author)
Publication Date: May 1, 2013

Alan Sonfist, Indoor Out: Environmental Art

Mark Rosenthal (Author), C. Field (Editor), Eleanor Heartney; Mark Rosenthal; (Introduction)
Publication Date: April 22, 2013

Nature: The End Of Art. Environmental Landscapes, Alan Sonfist

Alan Sonfist (Author), Robert Rosenblum (Author)
Publication Date: July 2, 2004

Alan Sonfist History and the Landscape

Alan Sonfist (Author), Eleanor Heartney (Author)
Publication Date: January 1, 1997

Alan Sonfist, 1969-1989: Interview : Robert Rosenblum

Lawrence Alloway (Author)
Publication Date: October 1990

Art in the Land: A Critical Anthology of Environmental Art

Alan Sonfist (Editor), Jeffery Dietch (Author), Elizabeth C. Baker (Author), Mark Rosenthal (Author), Joshua C. Taylor (Author), Johnathan Carpenter (Author), Pierre Restany (Author), Harold Rosenberg (Author), Grace Glueck (Author), Robert Rosenblum (Author), Lawrence Alloway (Author)
Publication Date: November 1, 1983

Alan Sonfist / Trees

Alan Sonfist (Author)
Publication Date: 1978

Alan Sonfist Natural Phenomena as Public Monuments

Alan Sonfist (Author)
Publication Date: 1978

Autobiography of Alan Sonfist

Alan Sonfist (Author)
Publication Date: 1975

Selected Critical Excerpts

"Once upon a time it was a function of art to mirror nature but in the new ecological era, art is more likely to be nature." Grace Glueck. New York Times

"To complete the Time Landscape on the La Guardia Place site, Sonfist had to weave his way through community groups, local politicians, real estate interests, several arms of city government, art patrons, and their lawyers." Jeffrey Deitch, The New Economics of Environmental Art

"His art exposes the dichotomy of art-life as the myth that it has always been, and we are finally made to realize that his main concern, that of time, is in fact only a thin veil between the hemispheres of one single, experiential world." Ronald J. Onorato, ARTFORUM

"The Earth itself has become a part of the artist's imaginative calculations. On the other hand ... Alan Sonfist... has reacte to a cosmic consciousness by returning to specific nature in its smallest detail." Joshua C. Taylor, A Land for Landscapes, Smithsonian Institute

" ...Sonfist cultivates a garden...and symbolizes the ecological servant of nature." Mark Rosenthal, Some Attitudes of Earth Art

"The impetus behind Sonfist's art is an acute fascination with living things and their processes of survival." Michael Auping, Earth Art: A Study in Ecological Politics

"Sonfist, providing the least to see, has the most to impart. His artworks relate to real time, as a process of the growth cyc and as a subject in the alignment with nature. Neither a horticulturist nor a social reformer, Sonfist, nonetheless, aims, in th midst of bustling urban environments, to alert perceptions to the slow and sure rhythms of nature. His sensibilities and con cerns are precisely those that moved our 19th-century Hudson River School artists to paint vistas of yet-unspoiled nature." Helen Kohen, Miami Herald

Few artists have had such an unswerving, or generative, interest in the landscape (physical, social, historical) that surrounc us. Alan Sonfist is that rare species of artist - not just a pioneer in a particular form or approach, but a real trailblazer whoa ideas have remained consistent, and consistently interesting, over the course of an entire career. No history of post-war ar would be complete without an acknowledgment of his achievement." Jeffrey Kastner, Cabinet Magazine

"After making art of quiet distinction for over 30 years, Alan Sonfist suddenly finds himself close to the spotlight. His concern for the fragility of nature, rather than for its sublimeness or monumentality, makes him a forerunner of the new ecological sensibility." Michael Brenson, New York Times

"At the time when more and more gardeners are recognizing the value of using native plants, pioneer landscape artist Alan Sonfist draws upon such plants in the context of the area's natural history. He tells the stories of cultures and natural habi┬Čtats. And awakens our responsibilities to the conservation of our environment." C.S. Johnson, Horticulture Magazine

"To review the environmental sculptures of Alan Sonfist since the 1960's is to witness the reemergence of a socially aware artist. The sculptures reassert the historic role of the artist as an active innovator of ideas within society."
Jonathan Carpenter, Public Sculptures

"Alan Sonfist's Earthwall is a public monument of a new kind. It takes its form and meaning from direct reference to the site." Carter Ratcliff, Art in America

"The concept of a year-round natural microcosmic forest which would contain plants and trees indigenous to pre-colonial New York is fresh and intriguing and is desperately needed for our city." Ed Koch, former mayor of New York City

"Sonfist is the premier landscaper of urban forest restoration bringing us a unique view of what is below our concrete existence. He's been in the vanguard of those profoundly devoted to the understanding, protection and preservation of our natural surroundings." Stephen Prokopoff, Director, Museum of Art, Iowa

"Sonfist himself is a pioneer. Today, reforestation is an urgent issue worldwide, but back in the mid-1970s he was creating landscape sculptures of endangered species of trees. Native seeds, a trend now among gardeners and landscapers, have been planted in his projects since the mid- 1960s. His working ground is particularly compelling for Americans. His is an uncompromising, tough-to-classify art, part sculpture, part landscape design, which plays on the forces of nature and time." Michael McDonough, Metropolitan Home

Selected Private and Public Commissions

Celtic Fortification Landscape, Aachen, Germany
Nature Theater, University of Goethe, Germany
Geological Timeline, Duisburg, Germany
Narrative Mural of Urban Nature, Merrick, NY
Labrynth Of SouthBend, South Bend, IN
Natures Protectors, Montreal, Canada
Healing Trail, Berrie, Canada
Four Seasons Sculpture, Temple University, PA
Time Landscape, Greenwich Village, NY
5 Time Enclosures with Forest Seeds, Boca Raton, FL
Rock Monument of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
Circle of Life Centennial, Kansas City, MO
Natural/Cultural Landscape of Swanee, Swanee, TN
Geological Landscape Mural, Houston, TX
Rising Earth Washington Monument, Washington, DC
Theatre of Nature, University of Bauhaus, Germany
Time Landscape of Trinity River, Dallas, TX
Stream Trace Hospital Landscape, Pistoia, Italy
Sculpture Natural/Cultural Landscape, La Quinta, CA
Natural/Cultural Landscape of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN
Natural/Cultural Landscape of Tampa, Tampa, FL
The Lost Falcon, Bad Berleburg, Germany
Natural/Cultural Landscape of Pori, Pori, Finland
Geological Landscape, Toronto, Canada
Natural/Cultural Landscape of La Quinta, La Quinta, CA
1001 Oaks in a Stone Ship, Langeland, Denmark
Natural/Cultural Time Enclosure, Portland, ME

Selected Solo Exhibitions

Natural Disasters, Paul Rodgers/9W Gallery, NYC
Burning Forest, Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe, NM
Reflections of the Milky Way, Maison des Gouverneurs, Sorel, Quebec, Canada
Hidden & Natural Secrets of New York, Goethe Institute, NYC
Retrospective: A History of the Land, Museum of Art, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Natural/Cultural Landscapes, Tampa Art Museum; Tampa, FL
Drawings of La Defence, Parks of PARIS, EPAD Museum of Contemporary, Paris, France
Gauguin's Landscape Commission, Port-au-France, Martinique
Natures Reflections, Max Protetch Gallery, NYC
Environmental Landscape of Indianapolis, Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis, IN
Public Sculptures of the Site, Pennsylvania State University, Pittsburgh, PA
Trinity River Proposal, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX
Earth USA, Corcoran Museum, Washington, DC
Tree Growth, J.B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY
Nature/Culture Landscapes, Marian Goodman Gallery, NYC
Rock Monument of Buffalo, Albright-Knox Museum, Buffalo, NY
Monument of Atlanta, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
Environmental Public Sculptures, Neuberger Museum (SUNY), Purchase, NY
Photo Landscapes, Leo Castelli Gallery; NYC
Autobiography of Sonfist's landscapes, Smithsonian Institution, National Collection of Fine Arts, D.C.
Nature of Germany, Neue Galerie Museum, Sammlung Ludwig, Aachen, Germany
Autobiography of a Hemlock Forest, Galerie Valsecchi, Milan, Italy
Nature's Value, Gallery Cavallino, Venice, Italy
Parks of New York City, Centre Cultural Americain, Paris, France
Running Dead Animal, Stefanotty Gallery, NYC
Time Landscapes, Photos, Drawings, Model, Finch Collage Museum of Art, NYC
Photographs & Nature Direct, Palley and Lowe Gallery; NYC
Animals, Minerals and Vegetables, I.C.A., London, England
Army Ants, Automation House (sponsor: Architectural League), NYC
Nature of Akron, Akron Institute (video catalog), Akron, OH
The Nature of Things, Harcus-Krakow Gallery, Boston, MA
Star Charting, Dezon-Zaks Gallery, Chicago, IL
Outdoor Crystal Sculpture, Finch College Museum of Art, NYC
Nature's Reflections, Reese Palley Gallery, NYC
Earth Day, Union Square Park (natural and artificial landscape), NYC

Selected Group Exhibitions

Trilogi: Kunst, Natur, Vindeskab, Kunsthallen Brandts, Klaedefabrik, Denmark
Differentes Natures, Prado Museum, Prado, Spain
Creative Solutions to Ecological Issues, Dallas Museum of Natural History, Dallas, TX
Fragile Ecologies, Center for Fine Arts, Miami, FL
Opening Exhibition for Environmental Art Museum, Langeland, Denmark
Fragile Ecologies, Queens Museum, Queens, NYC
Revered Earth, Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, NM
Sticks and Stones: Nature, Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY
Spirit of the Earth, Santa Fe Contemporary Art Center, Santa Fe, NM
The Endangered Earth, Pasadena Art Center, Pasadena, CA
Sculpture Arch of the Rockies, Aspen 1990, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO
Revered Earth, Museum of Contemporary Arts, Houston, TX
Nature as Art, Kunst Academia; Berlin, Germany
Crystal Landscapes,World's Fair, Osaka, Japan
The Artist as Social Designer, Los Angeles County Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Der Baum, Heidelberger Kunstverein, Heidelberger, Germany
Chance and Change, Auckland City Art Gallery; Auckland, New Zealand
Metmanhattan, Whitney Museum of American Art; NYC
Common Ground, Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL
Artists Parks and Gardens, Museum of Contemporary Art; Chicago, IL
Response to the Elements, Contemporary Art Center; Toronto, Canada
Reasoned Space: The Arizona, Center for Creative Photography; Tucson, AZ
Views of America, Museum of Modern Art; NYC
Hudson River Artists, Vassar College Museum of Art; Poughkeepsie, NY
Interactions with the Environment, Whitney
Museum of American Art; NYC
Photographs as Art Documenta, Kassel, Germany
Italian Nature: Venice Biennale, Video Section, Venice, Italy
Nature of the Body: Biennale de Paris, Paris, France
A Response to the Environment, Rutgers University Art Gallery, New Brunswick, NJ
Body Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
Living Ritual, Museum of Contemporary Art, Graz, Austria
Project 74, Walraf-Richartz Museum, Koln, Germany
Materials and Manipulation, Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC
Trees of Manhattan: Acquisition Exhibition, Finch College of Museum Art
Landscape on the Sixth Floor, Museum of Modern Art, NYC
Elements - Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Lucht-Kunst, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Holland
Crystal Monument, Museum of Natural History NYC
Survey of Original Land Artists, Ends of the Earth, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA)
MCA's minimalism show: When less was more, Survey exhibition of last quarter century, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

Selected Keynote Speaker

Art Ecology Conference: Berlin, Germany
Public Art of the Park: University of Lund, Sweden
Nature of the City: Midwest Art College Association: Memphis, TN
Public Art: National Museum Art Conference, Pittsburgh, PA
Australian Nature Environmental Sculpture for National Museum Southern Landscape Conference, Miami, FL
Rhode Island School of Design Landscape Conference

Selected Museum Collections

Akron Art Institute, Akron, OH
Albright-Knox Museum, Buffalo, NY
Allen Art Museum, Oberlin, OH
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Auckland Museum of Contemporary Art; Auckland, New Zealand
Berkeley Museum of Art, Berkeley, CA
Boston Museum of Fine Art, Boston, MA
Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NYC
Celle Art Sculpture Park, Pistoia, Italy
Center for Creative Photography; Tucson, AZ
Contemporary Art Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX
Fresno Art Museum, Fresno, CA
Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Houston Museum of Fine Art, Houston, TX
Johnson Museum, Ithaca, NY
Los Angeles Country Museum, CA
Lowe Art Museum, Coral Gables, FL
Ludwig Museum, Koln, Germany
Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC
Musee d'art Contemporain de Montreal, Montreal, Canada
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
Museum of Modern Art, NYC
Museum of Modern Art, Paris, France
National Gallery of Art, Australia
Neue Museum, Sammlung Ludwig, Germany
Newport Harbor Museum, CA
Power Gallery of Contemporary Art, Australia
Princeton University Museum, NJ
Wadsworth Antheneum Museum, CT
Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC
Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, Germany

Selected Symposiums and Visiting Professorships

Boston Museum of Fine Arts, "Earth, Air, and Fire." Boston
Dade County Art Conference, "Public Art and the Environment." FL
Environmental Art, Cooper Union, NYC
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, International Conference. Cambridge, MA
Metropolitan Museum of Art, "Artist Series:Nature as Public Monument." New York
Midwest College Conference, "Public Art:Nature within the City." Memphis, TN
Penn State University, "Urban and Suburban Environmental Art.", PA
"Southern Sculpture Conference, "Art of the Land." San Antonio, TX
Research Fellowship - MIT, Cambridge, MA