Queens Focus: 04
Lucas Monaco Parallel Plane - Mapping Corona
February 22 - May 27, 2001
Parallel Plane - Mapping Corona, 2001
Artist Lucas Monaco weaves an urban planning yarn through the once and future tale of Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Parallel Plane-Mapping Corona, on display at the Queens Museum of Art February 22-May 20, 2001. Monaco uses mural-size drawings to illustrate how an abandoned and long-forgotten development scheme might have shaped surrounding Queens communities and proposes how the current infrastructure might evolve, given various configurations of current land use and regional zoning trends. Map images etched on eight clear Plexiglass sheets are installed five inches away from and parallel to the front of the walls in the second floor Unisphere Galleries, allowing the sun to project shadows of the intricate etched lines onto the gallery walls. In addition to examining what is and what might have been, the artist develops a theory on what is to come, by projecting ideas for the park, based on observation and research, into the future.

Flushing Meadows Corona Park (site of the 1939 and 1964 world fairs as well as the present home of the Queens Museum of Art and several other educational, entertainment, and recreation facilities) has loomed large in the artist's imagination since he first drove past the towering remnants of the 1964 World's Fair. More recently, Monaco's studies of urban planning and development, including Robert Moses's biography, introduced the artist to the mythic battles between the often competing schemes and ambitions of the planning titan and the people for whom they build.

The park's development, which Monaco explores in this installation, was shaped as national security interests and Moses's vision converged at the crossroads of the Long Island Expressway, Grand Central Parkway, and Van Wyck Expressway.

Monaco's site-specific project first delves into early twentieth century plans for an industrial complex, giant port, and canal terminus to spur economic growth by connecting Queens with one of the premier transcontinental transportation links of the time, the Hudson River/Erie Canal system. Preliminary work filling the marshes and dredging the deep-water port was begun, but new technologies supplanted the supremacy of the canal network.

Lucas Monaco received his M.A. from Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts (1992). His work has been exhibited in numerous exhibitions including Night of 1000 Drawings, Artists' Space, New York (1997, 1998 and 1999); Endless, Rathbone Gallery, Sage JCA, Albany, New York (1999); LANJAE, Ruth Bachofner Gallery, Santa Monica, California (2000); Sidelong Glance, Iminll Gallery, Brooklyn, New York (2000); and Selections Fall 2000, The Drawing Center, New York (2000). He was recently an Artist-in-Residence at Sculpture Space, Utica, New York. Lucas Monaco was born in 1969 in New York City and currently lives and works in Long Island City, New York.

Parallel Plane - Mapping Corona is the fourth installment in the museum's Queens Focus series- an initiative showcasing the works of emerging artists residing and/or working in the Borough of Queens.