Elisabeth Condon MTA Arts & Design Commission NYC

August 15, 2019


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.

Photo Credit: Urban Idyll (2018) © Elisabeth Condon, NYCT Astoria-Ditmars Blvd Station.

Commissioned by Metropolitan Transportation Authority Arts & Design. Photo: Phillip Reed.

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