Artist Richard Artschwager "blps" the High Line

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Author: 
Ashley Tickle
One of Richard Artschwager's blps at 10th Avenue Square. Photo by Austin Kennedy. Courtesy the artist, Friends of the High Line, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
 

If you've visited the park recently, you may have noticed black lozenge-shaped marks on and around the High Line. The marks are called “blps” and they are part of one of our latest HIGH LINE COMMISSIONS, an installation by acclaimed artist Richard Artschwager.

The work is the first collaboration between High Line Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, which is building its downtown location next to the High Line’s southern terminus. You can find 9 blps installed in various locations through Sunday, February 3, 2013, in conjunction with the artist’s retrospective Richard Artschwager! at the museum.

Follow us after the jump to learn more and watch.

Artschwager began creating blps – a word coined by the artist and pronounced “blips” – in the late 1960s to bring attention to overlooked spaces. Demonstrating the power of simplicity, blps can be black or white and range in size, but Artschwager has always retained the iconic lozenge shape.

He has used the blps throughout his career to create an opportunity for the “useless looking.” In a video about the artist, Whitney Curator Jennifer Gross talks about the artist’s intention. “The blp really was the conceptual high note in terms of making something that was nothing more than a signal for you to see other things,” she says.

WATCH THE VIDEO to learn more about the evolution of the blp.

For decades blps have appeared in the United States and across Europe on subways, building facades, and galleries. The blps on and around the High Line draw attention to unique architecture while highlighting overlooked vistas that make up the park’s character.

See if you can find the blps as you stroll along the park. Download our free, printable art map for locations.

Don’t forget to share your photos of the High Line’s blps on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #blps.

A blp on the 14th Street Elevator. Photo by Austin Kennedy. Courtesy the artist, Friends of the High Line, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
 
One of Richard Artschwager's blps on the water fountain at West 18th Street. Photo by Austin Kennedy. Courtesy the artist, Friends of the High Line, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.