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Queens Chronicle

The World’s Fair, revisited

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Posted: Thursday, September 18, 2008 12:00 am

Panorama: The Mapping of Prediction, an exhibition of artist Stephen Talasnik’s architecturally inspired drawings, will be on view beginning Sept. 28 at the Queens Museum of Art in Flushing Meadows.

The exhibition includes 13 pieces from Talasnik’s Panorama series that measure up to 12 feet in length, transforming the monolithic into the intimate and the structurally complex into the fantastical and futuristic.

Installed in the same space as the museum’s Panorama of the City of New York, built as the world’s largest architectural scale model for the 1964 World’s Fair, the exhibition presents Talasnik’s musings on architecture and design juxtaposed with the model that inspired his artistic career.

Back in 1964, among the millions of people who flocked to Flushing Meadows for the World’s Fair was then 9-year-old Talasnik from Philadelphia.At the iconic World’s Fair, he was exposed to a temporary city of pavilions with modern architecture, a futuristic monorail connecting them and a vision for what the coming decades would hold.

Sparking Talasnik’s fascination with futuristic design, the designs on display in Flushing Meadows fueled an artistic career that evolved to reflect inspiration from Leonardo da Vinci’s 16th century inventions to Hugh Ferris’ modern skyscrapers.

“From an artistic standpoint, Talasnik’s drawings are impeccably rendered and conceived, evoking masters from past eras,” said Tom Finkelpearl, executive director of the museum.

Talasnik’s early panoramic work drew inspiration from the predella panels he encountered while living in Rome. It also grew out of a desire to encapsulate the largest possible space and represent it to the viewer in the smallest possible arena.

In Panorama, Talasnik uses the format to capture urban landscapes, labyrinthine transportation systems and forms from the World’s Fair and present it to viewers as a letterbox where viewers can envision the spirit of the future and harness a majestic, Utopian landscape — much like the original 1964 World’s Fair.

The exhibition runs until Nov. 30. For more information, call (718) 592-9700 or visit www.queensmuseum.org.

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