High Line Public Art and Treasure Hunt

High Line visitors sitting on wooden bleachers overlooking a busy NYC street

We’ve always loved the High Line year round in all seasons. This year, the Friends of the High Line stepped up their food, family, and NYC public-art events in Chelsea. Consequently our fondness for this unique communal space has only grown stronger. The latest example of the creative use of the space is Richard Artwchwager’s ‘blps’ project. This High Line art exhibition spans the full length of the park from Gansevoort up to 30th Street.

Trees flanking High Line wooden path leading up to the Gansevoort Hotel in downtown NYC

Almost Hidden NYC Art Exhibition

Installed in conjunction with a similar art exhibition at the Whitney Museum on Madison Avenue and East 75th Street, you’ll find Richard Artschwager’s ‘blps.’ Ten simple black lozenge shaped art pieces affixed to various places within the High Line Park and on nearby buildings. Artschwager first created the ‘blps,’ pronounced ‘blips,’ in the 1960’s as installation art intended to draw attention to architecture; structures and surfaces that are usually taken for granted and go unnoticed. The ‘blps’ are black or white oval like lozenge-shaped marks that are intended to inspire “useless looking” around the city.

The ‘blps’ installation exhibition is also near the future site of new Whitney museum downtown. Yup, the Upper East Side landmark will soon call Gansevoort and Washington Streets, at the southern tip of the High Line, home. To connect the two museum sites, part of the ‘blps’ exhibition also reviews their history, including Artschwager’s 100 Locations around the uptown Whitney in 1968.  

An example of a Richard Artwchager blps affixed to a glass pane along the High Line in downtown NYC

Public Art Show and High Line Treasure Hunt

We strolled the full length of the High Line in full treasure-hunt mode looking for ‘blps.’ Sadly, it seems a couple of Artschwager’s ‘blps’ didn’t survive Sandy (or maybe just the curious peel-offs of passers-by?) we had a great time trying to find them all. You know that satisfying feeling when you’re looking and looking for something… and then you spot it? We had that feeling. Add your kids to the mix (if applicable) and you have an excellent activity for a nice fall or even winter afternoon. And although those good eats at the northern end of the High Line near 14th Street have packed up and left until next spring, there’s still porky sandwiches from Rocket Pig and treats galore at the Chelsea Market.     

Visitors to the High Line in downtown NYC, the entrance point at the souther end of the park near Gansevoort Street

Richard Artschwager: blps, on the High Line details 

Richard Artschwager’s installation of blps will be on view through February 3, 2013, at various locations throughout the park. For a full list of where to find the blps, as well as lots of information about the High Line in general, visit the High Line website.

Construction of a new building in downtown NYC along the High Line


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