13 February 2018

The Käthe-Kollwitz-Preis 2018 of the Akademie der Künste goes to the American Adrian Piper

Adrian Piper receives the Käthe-Kollwitz-Preis 2018. The Akademie der Künste honours with this award an artist working on an international level and analytical philosopher, who has had a considerable influence on American conceptual art since the mid-sixties. Piper used motifs such as gender and race to widen the spectrum of conceptual art and minimalism of the first generation. And in doing so, she investigated the political conditions for artistic production processes, as well as their reception and significance. Her statement once that 'the power of art is unlimited for social change' is just as potent and relevant today. Her use of form and the poetry within it have an effect even on spectators less inclined towards conceptual art.

In choosing Piper, the jurors and Academy members Marcel Odenbach, Wolfgang Petrick and Wolfgang Tillmans refer in particular to the fact that 'Adrian Piper has produced unusually transformative work in the past decades, which consistently travelled unknown artistic territory. Piper's compassionate way of thinking and acting makes her research and projects on the social, economic, psychological and spiritual potential of fine art so compelling and unique. It is impossible to estimate how much of an influence she has had on artists and the international public, yet our daily life and actions have not been left unaffected by her work. She has made a lasting impression on how we view the Afro-American art scene, and confronted white masculine perception of culture with its own image.'

Adrian Piper (*1948 in New York) lives and works in Berlin since 2005 and runs the Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin. Her artistic oeuvre spans paper works, videos, multi-media installations, paintings, sound works, photographic and text-based graphics, and is housed in the Museum of Modern Art and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Generali Foundation in Vienna. She has worked at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, the Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin, and received the Skowheagan Medal for Sculptural Installation as well as the New York Dance & Performance Award. In 2015 she was awarded the Golden Lion at the Biennale in Venice for The Probable Trust Registry: The Rules of the Game #1–3. This installation and performance was brought to life in the Hamburger Bahnhof-Museum for Contemporary Art in Berlin.

In the early 1980s as part of her academic career as philosopher, Adrian Piper was awarded a doctorate for her work on rationality at Harvard University, where John Rawls supervised her studies. Her studies on Immanuel Kant brought her to Germany, and the University of Heidelberg. Piper has lectured at several American universities. Her numerous philosophical published works deal chiefly with meta-ethics, Kant and history of ethics.

Opening on 31 March 2018, an extensive retrospective with over 290 works dedicated to Adrian Piper will be exhibited by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. And her autobiographical book Escape to Berlin: A Travel Memoir has just recently been published in German and English.
The award, endowed with 12,000 euros, will be presented in Berlin in autumn 2018. The Akademie der Künste will be holding an exhibition at Pariser Platz as well to mark the event. The Käthe-Kollwitz-Prize is an award presented annually to a visual artist. Previous recipients of the award include Katharina Sieverding (2017), Edmund Kuppel (2016), Bernard Frize (2015), Corinne Wasmuht (2014), Eran Schaerf (2013), Douglas Gordon (2012), Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller (2011), Mona Hatoum (2010) and Ulrike Grossarth (2009). The prize, the exhibition and the catalogue have been co-financed for 25 years by the Kreissparkasse Cologne savings bank, sponsor of the Käthe Kollwitz Museum Cologne.

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