William N. Copley

William N. Copley, Tomb of the Unknown Whore, 1965

William N. Copley (1919–1996), aka CPLY, was an American artist mostly known as a painter and writer, but also worked as gallerist and publisher and was an avid collector. He studied English at Yale University before enrolling in the army during the Second World War. After the war, he briefly worked as a reporter before opening a gallery in Los Angeles in 1948 together with John Ployardt, an animator for Walt Disney Studios who had introduced him to Surrealist artists, including Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp. The latter became a close friend and a strong influence on Copley, who closed the gallery after only one year and dedicated himself entirely to painting from then on. He moved to Paris in 1949, where he lived until 1962–63, before moving back to the United States.

Institutional exhibitions

The Coffin They Carry You Off In, ICA – Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL, United States

2018

he World According to CPLY, Menil Collection, Houston, TX, United States, travelling to Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy

2016

MAMCO – Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland

2004

Easy to Read Storybook, BAWAG Foundation, Vienna, Austria

2003

Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, Netherlands

2001

Missing Link, Herning Kunstmuseum, Herning, Germany

1999

Heed Greed Trust Lust, Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hannover, Germany

1995

The Tomb of the Unknown Whore, The New Museum, New York, NY, United States

1986

Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland, travelling to Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands; Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany

1981

X-Rated: An Exhibition of New Paintings and Drawings, New York Cultural Center, New York, NY, United States

1974

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

1966

Paintings, ICA – Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, England

1961

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Works

Untitled
Imaginary Flags of Ten Countries

William N. Copley

Imaginary Flags of Ten Countries
Imaginary Flags of Ten Countries
Imaginary Flags of Ten Countries
Imaginary Flags of Ten Countries
Imaginary Flags of Ten Countries
Imaginary Flags of Ten Countries
Imaginary Flags of Ten Countries
Imaginary Flags of Ten Countries
Imaginary Flags of Ten Countries
Imaginary Flags of Ten Countries
Imaginary Flags of Ten Countries
Imaginary Flags of Ten Countries
Imaginary Flags of Ten Countries
Imaginary Flags of Ten Countries, 1972
Polymarin and nylon, nylon applications
10 flags, flagpoles 209 cm, ensigns ca. 128 x 184 cm | 50,39 x 72,44 in
Ed. 3 of 6