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71st Street

Joan Linder

The Flora of Bensonhurst, 2012

Laminated glass on station platforms

Elevated stations of Bensonhurst provide a dramatic opportunity for glass artwork at the platform level. Joan linder created drawings of flora based upon wild vegetation seen from the streets and lots within a 6-block radius of the 71st Street station. The result is an elegant, dynamic and specific tribute to the landscape of Bensonhurst, which endures, among other things, as an echo of Brooklyn’s past. These panels act as windows to a lost history—a place shaped by Native Americans and farmers. The botanical images offer passengers an experience that is a counterpoint to the built environment of the city.

Entitled The Flora of Bensonhusrt, the work is composed of six intricate drawings of plants flowing in the direction of train. Three on each platform, the plants rendered in cool colors (blue, green and purple) on the Manhattan bound platform alert the riders as they venture out in the morning. Whereas, those in warm colors (red, turquois, and orange) are placed on the Brooklyn bound platform to greet the commuters as they make their way home from work.

For the project, Linder painstakingly created large scale drawings in pen and ink on paper, which then be scaled and translated into laminated glass. The plants against a milky white background resemble a lightbox, which are constantly shifting under the daylight and also viewable at night from the street level.

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