Adrian Piper, a famed artist and philosopher known for her performances, writings, and conceptual artworks dealing with racism and rationality, has publicly severed ties with LGDR, the gallery that listed her on its roster.
While Piper made the announcement by email newsletter on Monday morning, she stated that she had cut off her relationship with LGDR and Lévy Gorvy, a now-defunct gallery that was run by two of LGDR’s founders, on January 20, 2023.
Noting that it “now seems necessary to announce publicly” her departure from those galleries, Piper directed the newsletter’s readers to her foundation’s website, where her art could be acquired “independently of third-party intermediaries.”
“I hope this announcement clears up any confusion,” she added.
Asked about the factors that precipitated her decision to leave LGDR, Piper declined to comment further.
LGDR, a blue-chip gallery with locations in New York, Hong Kong, Paris, and London, was founded in 2021 as a consortium that could represent artists, advise auction houses, and more. Its founders are Dominique Lévy, Brett Gorvy, Amalia Dayan, and Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn. The gallery’s New York flagship space will open to the public next week with a group show called “Rear View,” and on Wednesday, it will open a solo show for Marilyn Minter at its other gallery in the city, on East 89th Street.
In a statement to ARTnews, Lévy said, “We are very proud of the work we did with and for Adrian Piper, and are grateful for the seven years of our unique collaboration. Adrian is an artist who has long been known for her independence. I have especially cherished her way of leading the working relationship and abiding by her principles. We remain committed to her art and ideas.”
Lévy and Gorvy previously ran a namesake gallery, Dayan was formerly a partner at Luxembourg & Dayan, and Greenberg Rohatyn founded Salon 94, which is no longer in operation. Piper had been represented by Lévy Gorvy, whose last exhibition closed in early 2022.
Since mounting its first exhibition in 2021, LGDR has lost at least one other artist: Derrick Adams, who recently joined Gagosian. Pat Steir, who gained global representation with Hauser & Wirth last year, is still listed on the roster of LGDR, although dealer Marc Payot previously told ARTnews that Steir had chosen not to join LGDR’s stable upon that consortium’s formation.
Currently listed on LGDR’s roster are artists such as Niki de Saint Phalle, Jenna Gribbon, Joel Mesler, Senga Nengudi, Lina Iris Viktor, and Zao Wou-Ki. Unlike most of these artists, Piper’s market is relatively small.
Widely regarded as a key figure within the history of conceptual art, Piper deals head-on with combinations of sexism, racism, and xenophobia in her work. An inquiry into the philosophy of Immanuel Kant has guided much of her art, which has also frequently taken up rationality and systems of classification. She was awarded the Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion in 2015 and was the subject of a Museum of Modern Art retrospective in New York in 2018.
Across the decades, Piper has publicly dropped out of exhibitions and critiqued her critics.
In 1987, she wrote an open letter to the critic Donald Kuspit, who had penned a derisive piece about art, telling him, “You don’t need to depict me as a mad housewife in order to ensure the value of your own critical insights.” In 2013, she pulled her art from a show about Black performance art at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery, writing that a “more effective way” of showing her art would be to “curate multi-ethnic exhibitions that give American audiences the rare opportunity to measure directly the groundbreaking achievements of African American artists against those of their peers in ‘the art world at large.’”