East 180th Street

Cándida Álvarez
B is for Birds in the Bronx, 2006
Faceted glass in
platform windscreens
MTA Arts for Transit



This series of faceted glass windscreen panels, inspired by the birds that populate the Bronx, offers the commuters that pass through the Bronx Park East Station, a place of contemplation.  Although birds share air space with us, many of us rarely pay attention to them. The ordinary birds in these glassworks are made to seem large and regal through their scale and composition. They are portrayed in translucent white with the background filled in variations of blue. Álvarez places the birds in the foreground, but treats them as negative space.  By doing that, the birds in their emptiness give attention to their transparency and how they hold a space for the trees, the bushes, the snow, the branches, the wind, the sky, and the leaves to exist, like a still-life painting. 

Álvarez explains that these birds have “become templates of the possibility that wind and air filled them once and they have left a mark…like a footprint in the snow.”  The installation suggests to commuters that they too leave their footprints as they pass through this busy train station.



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