Adrian Piper

Via Berlin, Germany

Adrian Margaret Smith Piper is a first-generation Conceptual artist, scholar, analytic philosopher and dedicated practitioner of yoga. Piper began to exhibit her art work internationally in 1968. She is renowned for introducing issues of race and gender into the vocabulary of Conceptual art and explicit political content into Minimalism. Her artwork is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Centre Pompidou, and the Generali Foundation, Vienna, among others. She was recognized in 2012 by the College Art Association for having “profoundly influenced the language and form of Conceptual art.”

During her 27-year formal education, Piper studied visual art, philosophy and Medieval and Renaissance musicology, eventually earning a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Harvard in 1981. She went on to teach philosophy at Georgetown, Harvard, Michigan, Stanford, and UCSD, becoming the first tenured African American woman professor in the field of philosophy in 1987. Her principal philosophical publications are in metaethics, Kant and the history of ethics.

In 2008, Piper was listed as a Suspicious Traveler on the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s Watch List. She refused to return to the United States while listed as a Suspicious Traveler. As a result, Wellesley College forcibly terminated her tenured full professorship in philosophy in 2008. She lives and works in Berlin, where she runs the APRA Foundation Berlin and edits The Berlin Journal of Philosophy.


Adrian Piper's Articles