Skip to Content

Richard Artschwager

October 25, 2012 – February 3, 2013
Various locations on and around the High Line


1. Future Home of the Whitney Museum, Washington and Gansevoort Streets
2. The Standard, New York, 848 Washington Street
3. 14th Street Elevator, on the High Line at West 14th Street
4. 10th Avenue Square, on the High Line at West 17th Street
5. Water Fountain, on the High Line at West 18th Street
6. Residential Window, 505 West 22nd Street
7. Avenues: The World School, 259 Tenth Avenue
8. David Nolan Gallery, 527 West 29th Street
9. Smokestack, Tenth Avenue at West 30th Street

High Line Art has partnered with the Whitney Museum of American Art to present a series of blps by acclaimed artist Richard Artschwager, in conjunction with the artist’s retrospective Richard Artschwager! at the Whitney. A group of blps have been installed in various locations on and around the High Line and are on view in tandem with the Whitney retrospective

Artschwager first created his blps – a word coined by the artist and pronounced “blips” – in the late 1960s. The blps were first installed at the University of California – Davis, then in Europe, and then throughout New York City, including on subways, building facades, and galleries. These public interventions consist of black or white lozenge-shaped marks that inspire focused looking, and draw attention to architecture, structures, and surfaces that usually go unnoticed. Artschwager’s blps have transformed art spaces and city streets for decades, creating an opportunity for the “useless looking” the artist has aspired to throughout his career.

As part of the retrospective at the Whitney, exhibition curator Jennifer Gross, in collaboration with High Line Art, has organized a project working with the artist that revisits this aspect of his practice. Artschwager has installed blps on and around the High Line, near the future downtown home of the Whitney Museum at the southern terminus of the High Line, at Gansevoort and Washington Streets, and the Whitney’s building uptown on Madison Avenue at East 75th Street. There, part of the exhibition reviews the history of the blp, including Artschwager’s 100 Locations, an installation of 100 blps that were placed around the Whitney Museum at the time of Artschwager’s appearance in the 1968 Whitney Annual Exhibition as well as other blp projects.

Photos by Austin Kennedy.

Richard Artschwager

New York-based artist Richard Artschwager (b. 1923 Washington, D.C. – d. 2013, New York) had his first solo show in 1965 at Leo Castelli and appeared in the Primary Structures exhibition at the Jewish Museum in 1966. Select solo exhibitions include Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2013); Whitney Museum, New York (2012); Gagosian Gallery, Rome (2012); Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis (2010); Sprüth Magers, Berlin (2009); Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Miami (2003); Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (2003); Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago (2002); MAK, Vienna (2002); Serpentine Gallery, London (2001); Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris (1994); Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1992); Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (1979); Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (1979); and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1973). He began appearing in Whitney Annuals in 1966 and was shown in the 1968, 1970, and 1972 Annuals as well as the 1983 and 1987 Biennials. In 1988, the Whitney organized a mid-career retrospective of his work, which toured to numerous national and international venues including Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Palacio de Velasquez, Madrid; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and Städtische Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf.

Program Partner

The Whitney Museum of American Art is the world’s leading museum of twentieth-century and contemporary art of the United States. Focusing particularly on works by living artists, the Whitney is celebrated for presenting important exhibitions and for its renowned collection. In addition, the Museum is known internationally for events and educational programs of exceptional significance and as a center for research, scholarship, and conservation. Founded by sculptor and arts patron Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1930, the Whitney was first housed on West 8th Street in Greenwich Village. The Museum relocated in 1954 to West 54th Street and, in 1966, inaugurated its present home, designed by Marcel Breuer, at 945 Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side. While its vibrant program of exhibitions and events continues uptown, the Whitney is constructing a new building, designed by Renzo Piano, in downtown Manhattan. Located at the corner of Gansevoort and Washington Streets in the Meatpacking District, at the southern entrance to the High Line, the new building, which has generated immense momentum and support, will enable the Whitney to vastly increase the size and scope of its exhibition and programming space. Ground was broken on the new building in May 2011, and it is projected to open to the public in 2015.


High Line Art is presented by Friends of the High Line and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. High Line Art is made possible by Donald R. Mullen, Jr., with additional support from Vital Projects Fund, Inc. High Line Art is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

This project is made possible by the Whitney Museum of American Art and High Line Art, presented by Friends of the High Line. Richard Artschwager! is organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art in association with the Yale University Art Gallery. Support for the blp project is provided by 32BNY. Special thanks to project participants and Avenues: The World School, David Nolan Gallery, The Standard, 450 West 31st Owners Corp., and RD Wright.

Back to top