RICHARD ARTSCHWAGER, BLP, 1978 [set of vinyl stickers]

each 22,2 x 8,9 cm
2 stickers, text on envelope (10,4 x 24 cm)
edition unknown
published by Clocktower, New York, USA, 1978
extremely rare
condition: excellent
€ 1.850,- plus € 18,- Track & Trace registered mail
inv.RArts 905


The two stickers, one in white and one in black, come in an envelope with printed text from an original type written description. These Blp’s were used for his installation at the Clocktower in New York, 1978.
In 1967 Richard Artschwager (1923 – 2013) introduces his Blips for the first time as an oval-shaped graffiti sign. These signs have been installed either vertical or horizontal as a device to focus on or draw attention to e.g. an empty gallery wall or a building front not commonly receptive for art.
Richard Artschwager first created his blps, pronounced as “blips” in the late 1960s. These installed black pill shaped forms or marks were meant to inspire focused looking and draw our attention to the places and things around us that often go unnoticed. Most of his “Blp’s” have a heavy material presence, usually made of wood, rubber or of a thick layer of hair. The sticker version is the most ephemeral work among the “Blp’s” and certainly of Richard Artschwager’s oeuvre.

Ref. Specific Object / David Platzker, New York:
‘Two vinyl self-adhesive ‘BLP’s, one each in white and black, from Richard Artschwager’s installation at the Clocktower, New York, April 5 – 29, 1978. Housed in facsimile of envelope provided to current owner.’

RICHARD ARTSCHWAGER, Tattly Air Quotes Temporary Tattoos [Quotation marks], 2012

RICHARD ARTSCHWAGER, Quotation marks, 2012 [tattoos]
7,7 x 5 cm
4 quotation marks in plastic envelope, transfer prints, printed paper, staple
edition unknown
For sale in 2013 at the Whitney Museum, New York, USA

The space between two quotation marks either on human skin or e.g. on a gallery wall emphasize these spaces in between. This tattoo work with quotation marks is apparently not made to unravel what is ‘quoted’ in a given space. Whitney Museum, New York – March 2013

In March 2013 on its website the Whitney Museum categorizes this multiple as an edition that is ‘Reminiscent of Richard Artschwager’s artwork, where he utilizes punctuation outside of its normal realm, rendering its meaning questionable’ and was sold as “Air Quotes Temporary Tattoos”. There is no printed name of Richard Artschwager as a kind of authorization comparable to the “Richard Artschwager Quotation Earrings” The Whitney had simultaneously for sale.

Ref. Richard Artschwager, Quotation Mark Earrings.

RICHARD ARTSCHWAGER, Quotation Mark, 2013 [earrings]

RICHARD ARTSCHWAGER, Quotation Mark, 2013
handmade pair of earrings, cardboard clip and leporello in box
edition 25
published by Whitney Museum, New York, USA
extremely rare
€ 420,- plus € 18,- Track & Trace registered mail

Two texts on leporello read: “These earrings are based on Richard Artschwager’s 1980 Quotation Mark originally fabricated in Formica on painted wood in an edition of 25. Made exclusively for the Whitney Museum in a limited quantity.”
[this is the title of the solo exhibition in the Whitney Museum] is a comprehensive review of the artist’s remarkable creative explorations of the mediums of sculpture, painting, and drawing and the first U.S. retrospective exhibition of Artschwager’s work since one organised at the Whitney in 1988.”

On the site of the Whitney Museum the following text announces this limited edition:
“Product Description:
Frame your face with our exclusive, whimsical Quotation Mark Earrings, adapted from Richard Artschwager’s Quotation Mark, 1980. Taken out of context, the quotation mark as an object becomes an ornamental form, adorning and enhancing the shape of your ear. Size: 3/4 inch at longest point. Made of black acrylic painted white to imitate the original, which is white formica on painted wood. Sterling silver post.”

RICHARD ARTSCHWAGER, Blp, 2012 [Tote bag]

20 x 15 x 5 inches
print on cotton canvas bag, zipper
edition unknown
published by Whitney Museum, New York, USA
mint condition               
€ 535,- plus € 24,- Track & Trace registered mail
inv.RArt Tassen-pr

Richard Artschwager (1923 – 2013) first created his blps (pronounced as “blips”) in the late 1960s. These installed black pill shaped forms or marks were meant to inspire focused looking and draw our attention to places and things around us that often go unnoticed.
Artschwager’s blp began in 1963, in one of his notebooks is written that he was looking for a ‘very hard, dense, heavy after-image’ (notebook 12/23/1963). From 1968 and for years afterwards, the blp would appear on power plants and museum walls. Tamed to paper, the blp continued to have a life of its own. It was occasionally fuzzy and often rubbery.
This remarkable canvas Blp-bag was produced during the artist’s life time. For its production it was being taken care of to give the black mark a matte rubberlike thickening layer giving the bag a sculptural outlook.


17 x 16.5 x 10 cm
formica on wood, metal, 2 parts
edition 50, signed, numbered
published by Brooke Alexander Editions for Printed Matter, Inc., New York, USA
not available

The two bookends may be put on their side as a stack that turns them into a sculpture. Or as Richard Artschwager stated in an interview: “You want sculpture, you got sculpture”.


32 x 28 cm
screen print
signed, dated, numbered,
edition 7
published by Bébert / Contemporary Archeology Part III, Rotterdam
mint condition
€ 460,- plus € 18,- Track & Trace registered mail
inv.RArt 000-pr

Added background information
Although this print is made in an edition of 7 it is similar to the print that is part of a box published by House Bébert in Rotterdam as shown below.

History of prices:
eBay-Kunstwest, Cologne, Germany € 490,- March 2021
Heart Fine Art, Edinburgh, UK GBP 850.- July 2016
Catawiki € 160,- January 2014