• Agents of Change

    • Alan Sonfist is one of the key exponents of Land Art. His work values the cult of nature, sensibility and art.

    Art as a cult of nature, Alan Sonfist / 

    The fact that we now consider areas that were once endless forests, jungles or deserts, as cities or urban extensions is certainly a gloomy thought. Art has the duty of reminding us of our many natural losses; in the same way that a work of art is erected to commemorate an event or a historical character, art can be used to keep the echo of our original connection with nature fresh in our minds.

    The latter is an essence that motivates the art of Alan Sonfist (1946), is an American creator that is currently very active in the sphere of environmentalist causes. The preservation of historical and cultural values that tie us to nature is one of the central concerns in his work. Nature is the supreme artist and the creators of different periods have found and endless source of inspiration therein. Sonfist pays tribute to it and studies its relations to art, creativity and society.

    Time Landscape is one of his best known pieces; however, it pertains to a truly memorable oeuvre. For this piece Sonfist directed his efforts to the reconstruction of New York’s natural landscape, transforming it into an inspirational protected area, raising awareness on the importance of the native natural species of every part of the world. The poetry of the creative act of planting the seeds of a landscape is incredibly profound, and it must be used as inspiration by artists and art lovers.

    Sonfist frequently reflects on his childhood and recognises it as his foundational core, a fertile place for his creations, as well as the parallel with the originary phase of the world when it was covered by fruitful green instead of grey asphalt. This creator’s aesthetic interests did not fall in sync with his Land Art contemporaries, since he was not drawn to the minimalism that dominated the Sixties, and in turn preferred a joyous and liberating aesthetic.

    In a memorable filmic moment, Carlos Saura’s Goya listed some of the artists he had been inspired by, declaring these included Rembrandt, Velazquez, and Nature. The same goes for Sonfist: for him the tradition and connection to the primal is essential, an example that we should all try to employ in our artistic process perhaps: our existence. 

    Tagged: art, nature, art and nature, Alan Sonfist Credits: Imagen: University of Massachusetts Amherst / UMCA