Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions, 1965–2016
The Museum of Modern Art - MoMA, New York, United States 31 Mar 2018 - 22 Jun 2018
Adrian Piper, Everything (2003)
From March 27 to July 22, 2018, The Museum of Modern Art will present the most comprehensive exhibition to date of the work of Adrian Piper, the result of four-year collaboration between Piper, The Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Drawings and Prints, and The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.
In 1996 Adrian Piper wrote, “It seemed that the more clearly and abstractly I learned to think, the more clearly I was able to hear my gut telling me what I needed to do, and the more pressing it became to do it.”
Since the 1960s, this uncompromising artist and philosopher has explored the potential of Conceptual art—work in which the concepts behind the art takes precedence over the physical object—to challenge our assumptions about the social structures that shape the world around us. Often drawing from her personal and professional experiences, Piper’s influential work has directly addressed gender, race, xenophobia, and, more recently, social engagement and self-transcendence.
Bringing together over 290 works, including drawings, paintings, photographs, multimedia installations, videos, and performances, the exhibition offers a rare opportunity to experience her provocative and wide-ranging artwork. Occupying the Museum’s entire sixth floor and the Marron Atrium, Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions 1965–2016charts the artist’s five-decade career, including early paintings inspired by the use of LSD; key projects such as Mythic Being (1973), in which Piper has merged her male alter ego with entries from her teenage journals; My Calling (Card) #1 and My Calling (Card) #2 (1986), business card–sized, text-based works that confront the reader’s own racist or sexist tendencies; and What It’s Like, What It Is #3(1991), a large-scale mixed-media installation addressing racist stereotypes, which will be shown in the Atrium.
Accompanying the exhibition will be a catalogue including essays by Christophe Cherix, Connie Butler, David Platzker, Okwui Enwezor, and Adrian Piper; and a reader with essays by Diarmuid Costello, Jörg Heiser, Kobena Mercer, Nizan Shaked, Vid Simoniti, and Elvan Zabunyan – both published by the Museum; and a new autobiographical text by Piper published by the APRA Foundation Berlin. The exhibition will be Piper’s first American museum exhibition in over ten years and her first since receiving the Golden Lion Award for Best Artist at the 56thVenice Biennale in 2015.
Adrian Piper has consistently produced groundbreaking, transformative work that has profoundly shaped the form and content of Conceptual art since the 1960s. Strongly inflected by her longstanding involvement with philosophy and yoga, her pioneering investigations into the political, social, psychological, and spiritual potential of Conceptual art have had an incalculable influence on artists working today.