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MTA Arts & Design


Astoria Ditmars Blvd

Elisabeth Condon

Urban Idyll, 2018

Laminated glass

For the Astoria-Ditmars Blvd station, painter Elisabeth Condon created Urban Idyll, a series of thirty-six laminated glass panels located throughout the station’s mezzanine. Condon worked with glass fabricator Tom Patti Design to translate her large-scale paintings into permanent laminated glass artwork. Each image and gesture is initially hand painted, and carries multiple interpretations that shift and unfold as travelers pass by from street to subway and back again, embodying a textile “tree of life” pattern familiar to many cultures.

To create her glass artwork, Condon recombined sections from a variety of her paintings into new configurations. In Urban Idyll, time unfolds in liquid pours of color, undulating gestures, and birds, trees and flowers at various stages of flight, perch and bloom. These elements turn and flow rhythmically across the sequence of the glass artwork, evoking the transitions of travel. The linear, elongated compositions echo musical notations and film frames, dear to Astoria’s cinematic history.

Placed in East, West, North and South locations in the station’s mezzanine, Urban Idyll is designed to scan right to left like a scroll, recording the passage of time through vivid color. On the East passageway, the artwork welcomes and references sunrise, as bursts of yellow transition to orange and reds as the day moves on. The South-facing artwork offers respite at high noon when the sun is high and bright, and a flying bird in the West passageway escorts us through a saturated sunset toward evening, and home.

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