Adrian was born September 20, 1948, and is recognized as a first generation conceptual artist ad analytic philosopher. She was born in New York City, and lived for many years in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Soon after her time in Cape Cod, Adrian left the United States and lived and worked in Berlin, where she runs the APRA Foundation Berlin. APRA is The Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation. Prior to her foundation Adrian Piper attended Riverside Church, and then New Lincoln School throughout grammar school and high school. As well during high school she attended Art Students’ League during her high school years.
At the age of 20 she began exhibiting her artwork internationally, and graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 1969 with an A.A. in Fine Art and a concentration in painting and sculpture. Later on Piper received her B.A. in Philosophy and a minor in Medieval and Renaissance Musicolody from the City College of New York in 1974. She received her B.A. while producing and exhibiting her artwork, and received Summa Cum Laude with Research Honors for her degree. After her B.A. she continued her studies and attended Harvard University Graduate School in Philosophy where she received her M.A. in 1977 and a Ph.D. in 1981. Her total education lasted 27 years. Adrian Piper taught philosophy at a number of prestigious universities, such as Stanford, Georgetown, UCSD, Harvard, and Michigan. She quickly became recognized and became the first tenured African American woman professor in the field of philosophy.
Adrian Piper confronts racial, class and gender stereotypes in her work and challenges dominant systems of all kinds. Piper's black identity is often overlooked because of her light skin tone, and she uses that in her work to call out privilege. In the 1980's her work was especially political, and focused on dynamics of perceptions of difference. Piper the first African American women to be tenured in the field of philosophy.
Adrian Piper made many great contributions to conceptual and philosophical art. One thing that Piper leaves behind is her contribution to art vocabulary to include veldic imagery where she introduced Sanskrit text with drawing, photography, and representations of a Vedic divinity. Along with this conceptshe is an inspiration in the yoga world as she came up with her own yoga practice. She has also made strides in the philosophy world where she was the first woman tenured African American professor in the philosophy field. She continues to make strides in her career and embark on many new adventures in her life and hopefully she will continue to enlighten the world with all she has to offer.
Pieces of Her Artwork:
Description: Self-Portrait Exaggerating My Negroid Features. pencil on paper.
Date: June 21, 1981
Feminist Theory and Art Practices-
Adrian Piper, Pretend Not To Know, 1989 (three b/w photographs with silkscreen text, each 23" x 40")
Printed Art and Social Radicalism-
United States, born 1948
Offset lithographs, not dated
Adrain Piper, a light skinned African-American woman, had these cards printed tooffer to individuals who made assumptions about her identity.