press release

This exhibition will be the first major retrospective organized in Spain of the work of Adrian Piper (born Harlem, New York, 1948). The ample display of her output will range from paintings and conceptual works from the 1960s, plus performances from the 70s, up to and including her most recent oeuvre. A great many conceptual pieces will be shown from among the latter, along with a series of audio-productions that Adrian Piper created in the 60s.

On finishing her fine-art training, Adrian Piper decided to study philosophy, with her philosophical reflections subsequently serving as a basis for her work. It is difficult to encounter another artist whose oeuvre is influenced by Immanuel Kant, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gay and Shiva. Piper was also one of the first artists to develop an interest in popular culture, above all that of Afro-American people and the stereotyped prejudices surrounding them. The manner in which art can manage to effectively communicate social and political concepts, that is, without provoking the usual defensive reactions, is one of the main objectives Piper strives after in her work.

Though still young, Adrian Piper already had an impressive career as a conceptual artist behind her. In reaction to various political events she began to analyze her social position as an artist, a woman and an Afro-American. Conceptual art was no longer adequate as a medium for her concerns; she endeavored to introduce her art into non-artistic contexts. In the 1970s Adrian Piper began inventing and giving performances. Since the 80s she has become known for her systematic analyses of issues like racism, xenophobia and the nature of the self. Her works æphoto/text collages, drawing, performances and (video-)installationsæ are conceived as an act of political communication; she seeks to provoke spectators so that they react in a spontaneous way vis-à-vis their own impulses and responses. Pressetext

only in german

Adrian Piper - Retrospektive
Kurator: Sabine Breitwieser
Produktion: Generali Foundation, Wien, in Kooperation mit MACBA