Find the “Blps”



The discrete “blps” (right window) by artist Richard Artschwanger are featured in an art project at the High Line and the Meatpacking District in Midtown Manhattan. Photo: Valerie Prassl

Walking along the High Line in Manhattan, observant New Yorkers and curious art lovers might be lucky enough to spot some black “blps” before their eyes.

The High Line Art commission, in cooperation with the Whitney Museum of American Art, has installed an art series by modern artist Richard Artschwanger at several spots on the High Line, in the Meatpacking district and at the Whitney Museum.

Artschwanger, an American artist born in Washington D.C., first introduced his black, pill-shaped capsules, called “blps,” in 1968. Blps are featured at nine locations: three on the High Line, with others on the windows of the Standard Hotel on Washington Street or at art galleries in Chelsea.

Blps appear at nine locations, including three on the High Line. Photo: Valerie Prassl.

Christy Cerizo and Jordi Tagorda sat right in front of a blp on the High Line terrace on 10th Avenue Square and West 17th Street on a recent afternoon.

“I sat here for a while, wondering what this black thing on the glass is,“ said Cerizo, who is visiting New York City.

Marissa Plant, a 23-year old photographer from Long Island, said she had read about the project, and spotted some of the capsules during her stroll on the High Line.

“I don’t know what these blps are supposed to symbolize but I am curious about it. Maybe they are blocking certain things,“ said Plant. “I like this art, even if one wouldn’t necessarily notice it.”

A “blp” is featured on a window on the north side of the Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District. Photo: Valerie Prassl.

According to Artschwager, the blps are intended to draw attention to architecture, structures, and surfaces that usually go unnoticed.

Cerizo said she thinks the art pieces are fun. “In the end, it’s just a sticker on a window,” she said.

Those interested in viewing the blps should check the High Line Website, to find the locations.

The installation runs along with the exhibition “Richard Artschwanger!” at the Whitney Museum, a retrospective on the artist’s work.

Blps were first installed at the University of California, Davis, and later in Europe, before arriving in New York.