Adrian Piper at MoMA

Artist: Adrian Piper

Exhibition title: A Synthesis of Intuitions, 1965–2016

Venue: MoMA, New York, US

Date: March 31 – July 22, 2018

Photography: ©MoMA , all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and MoMA, New York

Note: Full press release can be found here

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 1965–2016 charts 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 Marron Atrium.

The result of a four-year collaboration between the artist, The Museum of Modern Art, and The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, this is the most comprehensive retrospective of Piper’s work to date.

The exhibition is organized by Christophe Cherix, The Robert Lehman Foundation Chief Curator of Drawings and Prints, The Museum of Modern Art; Connie Butler, Chief Curator, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; David Platzker, former Curator, The Department of Drawings and Prints, The Museum of Modern Art; with Tessa Ferreyros, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints, The Museum of Modern Art.

Installation view of Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions, 1965–2016, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 31–July 22, 2018. © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Martin Seck

Installation view of Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions, 1965–2016, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 31–July 22, 2018. © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Martin Seck

Installation view of Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions, 1965–2016, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 31–July 22, 2018. © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: John Wronn

Installation view of Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions, 1965–2016, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 31–July 22, 2018. © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Martin Seck

Installation view of Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions, 1965–2016, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 31–July 22, 2018. © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Martin Seck

Installation view of Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions, 1965–2016, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 31–July 22, 2018. © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Martin Seck

Installation view of Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions, 1965–2016, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 31–July 22, 2018. © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Martin Seck

Installation view of Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions, 1965–2016, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 31–July 22, 2018. © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Jonathan Muzikar.

Installation view of Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions, 1965–2016, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 31–July 22, 2018. © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Martin Seck.

Installation view of Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions, 1965–2016, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 31–July 22, 2018. © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Martin Seck.

Installation view of Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions, 1965–2016, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 31–July 22, 2018. © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Robert Gerhardt

Adrian Piper. LSD Self-Portrait from the Inside Out. 1966. Acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 in. (101.6 x 76.2 cm). Emi Fontana Collection. © Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin. Photography by Boris Kirpotin

Adrian Piper. Recessed Square. 1967. Masonite on wood frame (refabricated 2017). 36 × 36 × 9 in. (91.4 × 91.4 × 22.9 cm). Collection Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin. © Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin. Photography by Timo Ohler

The Barbie Doll Drawings #20. 1967. From the series The Barbie Doll Drawings. 1967. Rapidograph pen, ink, and/or pencil on thirty-five sheets of notebook paper. 8 1/2 × 5 1/2 in. (21.6 × 14 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired through the generosity of Catie and Donald Marron, The Friends of Education of The Museum of Modern Art, Carol and Morton Rapp, Richard S. Zeisler Bequest (by exchange), Committee on Drawings and Prints Fund, Riva Castleman Endowment Fund, John B. Turner Fund, and Monroe Wheeler Fund. © Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin. Photography by Peter Butler

Drawings about Paintings and Writings about Words #5. 1967. Pencil and charcoal on notebook paper. 11 × 8 1/2 in. (27.9 × 21.6 cm). Collection Louise Fishman. © Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin

Adrian Piper. Parallel Grid Proposal for Dugway Proving Grounds Headquarters. 1968. Two typescript pages; ink and colored ink on fourteen sheets of paper; architectural tape on acetate over ink on thirteen photostats; and ink on cut-and-pasted map, mounted on colored paper. Detail: Parallel Grid Proposal for Dugway Proving Grounds Headquarters #11, 8 ½ × 11 in. (21.6 × 27.9 cm). Collection Beth Rudin DeWoody. © Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin

Adrian Piper Catalysis III. 1970. Documentation of the performance. Two gelatin silver prints and text mounted on colored paper. Overall 8 1/2 × 11 in. (21.6 × 27.9 cm). Photographs by Rosemary Mayer. Collection Thomas Erben, New York. © Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin

Adrian Piper, Food for the Spirit #8. 1971. Fourteen gelatin silver prints (reprinted 1997). Each 149/16 × 1413/16 in. (37 × 37.7 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Family of Man Fund. © Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin. Photography by Jonathan Muzikar

Adrian Piper. The Mythic Being: I Embody Everything You Most Hate and Fear. 1975. Oil crayon on gelatin silver print. 8 x 10 in. (20.3 x 25.4 cm). Collection Thomas Erben, New York. © Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin

Adrian Piper. Self-Portrait Exaggerating My Negroid Features. 1981. Pencil on paper. 10 × 8 in. (25.4 × 20.3 cm). The Eileen Harris Norton Collection © Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin

Adrian Piper. Funk Lessons. 1983–84. Documentation of the group performance at University of California, Berkeley, November 6, 1983. Color photograph. Collection Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin. © Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin. Photography Courtesy of the University of California at Berkeley

Adrian Piper. Vanilla Nightmares #12. 1986. Charcoal on newspaper. 23 1/2 × 13 1/2 in. (59.7 × 34.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Gwen and Peter Norton. © Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin. Photography by John Wronn

Adrian Piper. Safe #1–4. 1990. Mixed-medium installation. Screenprinted text on four black-and-white photographs, mounted on foam core and affixed to the corners of a room, with audio. 30 1/4 x 42 in (76.8 x 106.7 cm); 24 5/8 x 39 ¼ in (62.5 x 99.7 cm); 30 7/16 x 24 15/16 in. (77.3 x 63.1 cm); and 44 5/16 x 36in. (112.6 x 99.1 cm). Detail: #1 of 4. Collection Adrian Piper Research Archive. Foundation Berlin. © Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin

Adrian Piper. Safe #1–4. 1990. Mixed-medium installation. Screenprinted text on four black-and-white photographs, mounted on foam core and affixed to the corners of a room, with audio. 30 1/4 x 42 in (76.8 x 106.7 cm); 24 5/8 x 39 ¼ in (62.5 x 99.7 cm); 30 7/16 x 24 15/16 in. (77.3 x 63.1 cm); and 44 5/16 x 36in. (112.6 x 99.1 cm). Detail: #2 of 4. Collection Adrian Piper Research Archive. Foundation Berlin. © Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin

Adrian Piper. Safe #1–4. 1990. Mixed-medium installation. Screenprinted text on four black-and-white photographs, mounted on foam core and affixed to the corners of a room, with audio. 30 1/4 x 42 in (76.8 x 106.7 cm); 24 5/8 x 39 ¼ in (62.5 x 99.7 cm); 30 7/16 x 24 15/16 in. (77.3 x 63.1 cm); and 44 5/16 x 36in. (112.6 x 99.1 cm). Detail: #3 of 4. Collection Adrian Piper Research Archive. Foundation Berlin. © Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin

Adrian Piper. Safe #1–4. 1990. Mixed-medium installation. Screenprinted text on four black-and-white photographs, mounted on foam core and affixed to the corners of a room, with audio. 30 1/4 x 42 in (76.8 x 106.7 cm); 24 5/8 x 39 ¼ in (62.5 x 99.7 cm); 30 7/16 x 24 15/16 in. (77.3 x 63.1 cm); and 44 5/16 x 36in. (112.6 x 99.1 cm). Detail: #4 of 4. Collection Adrian Piper Research Archive. Foundation Berlin. © Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin

Adrian Piper. What It’s Like, What It Is #3. 1991. Video installation. Video (color, sound), constructed wood environment, four monitors, mirrors, and lighting, dimensions variable. Installation view in Dislocations, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, October 20, 1991–January 7, 1992. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired in part through the generosity of Lonti Ebers, Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis, Candace King Weir, and Lévy Gorvy Gallery, and with support from The Modern Women’s Fund. © Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin

Adrian Piper. Decide Who You Are #1: Skinned Alive. 1992. Screenprinted images and text on three sheets of paper, mounted on foam core 72 × 42 in. (182.8 × 106.7 cm); 72 × 63 in. (182.8 × 160 cm); and 72 × 42 in. (182.8 × 106.7 cm). Collection Margaret and Daniel S. Loeb. © Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin

Adrian Piper. The Color Wheel Series, First Adhyasa: Annomayakosha #33. 2000. Digital file for print reproduction. Dimensions variable. Collection Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin. © Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin

Adrian Piper. Everything #2.8. 2003. Photocopied photograph on graph paper, sanded with sandpaper, overprinted with inkjet text, 8.5″ x 11″ (21.6 x 27.9 cm). Private Collection. © Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin

Adrian Piper. Adrian Moves to Berlin. 2007. Documentation of the street performance. Video (color, sound), 01:02:42. Video by Robert Del Principe. Collection Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin. Detail: video still at 00:38:09. © Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin.

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