Fort Tryon Park

The Daily Plant : Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Peter Bulow Brings Portrait Exhibition To Fort Tryon Park

Photo Courtesy of Peter Bulow

Parks & Recreation’s Arts in the Park program is pleased to announce the opening of “Passing Glances,” a public exhibition by sculptor Peter Bulow in Fort Tryon Park’s open-air gallery in upper Manhattan. Hand-picked from close to 400 miniature clay sculptures Bulow created on the New York City subway system over the past four years, the 12 life-sized heads on display were fired in terra cotta exclusively for the exhibition. Displayed along the Stan Michels Promenade in Fort Tryon Park near the entrance at Margaret Corbin Circle on West 190th Street, the exhibition will be on view through June 30.

Bulow views his subway portraits as a cross-section of America, to which his family emigrated when he was eight. He explains, “I see my subway sculptures as Roman portraits of the 21st century, a time capsule capturing the personalities of our time. Most were created on the A line, between 59th Street and 168th Street. Sometimes I have an entire train ride to do a portrait, and sometimes my model gets off at the next stop.” He adds, “People don’t seem to mind my sculpting them and sometimes start talking to me about their lives.”

Born in India and raised in Germany and the United States, Bulow is a psychiatrist and sculptor whose works often involve inner conflict, as evidenced by his critically-acclaimed “Alzheimer’s Madonna” featured on the cover of the March 2008 issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry. His artistic works have graced a number of shows, including “Immigrant” at the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA) Gallery.

In 2010, Bulow was commissioned by the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation to sculpt five bronze portraits of people who saved Jews from the Holocaust. His bronze bust of Raoul Wallenberg will be mounted to the façade of the Wallenberg Foundation this spring. His solo show at the Wallenberg Foundation of life-sized puppets and stone carvings from the set of “Stories from My Mother,” Bulow’s play for puppets and actors, reflects his preoccupation with his vivid family history. Part of that show can be seen this March and April at the Armin and Estelle Gold Gallery in the Hebrew Tabernacle at 551 Fort Washington Avenue in Manhattan. The subway portraits, like Bulow’s involvement in puppet theatre, reflect the artist’s narrative interest. .

“Passing Glances” precludes the release of Bulow’s book of more than 100 photographs of his subway portraits, accompanied by compelling text drawn from his research as an MD in neuroscience and touching on the new field of neuroaesthetics.

“Passing Glances” is made possible with support from the NoMAA Creative Grant Program, made possible by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation, and from a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Community Arts grant.

The City of New York’s Department of Parks & Recreation Public Art Program has consistently fostered the creation and installation of temporary public art in parks throughout the five boroughs. Since 1967, collaborations with arts organizations and artists have produced hundreds of public art projects in New York City parks.

Peter Bulow is the latest in a long list of distinguished artists to exhibit through the City of New York Parks & Recreation’ Art in the Parks program. Previous exhibitions have included Jean Dubuffet, Ursula von Rydingsvard, and Roy Lichtenstein. To view a complete history of art on display in the Parks, visit


“Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.”

Oscar Wilde
(1854 - 1900)

Directions to Fort Tryon Park

Know Before You Go

Fort Tryon Park

We're reconstructing some of the pathways in Fort Tryon Park to improve park access. This work will be done in phases. During Phase 1, the path along Broadway between Arden Street and near Sherman Avenue, and the connecting path west, are currently closed. Please use alternate pathways.

To learn more about this project and to track our progress, please visit our Capital Project Tracker.

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