Copley, William N. - William N. Copley

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William N. Copley. 

Fondazione Prada, 2016.
400 pages.

Sealed in original publisher's shrink-wrap.
Minor wear at corners. 

Edited with introduction by Germano Celant, Toby Kamps. 
Text by Gwen Allen, Paul R. Franklin, Alison Gingeras, Jonathan Griffin.

William N. Copley (1919–96) was a multifaceted American artist and art-world catalyst. Creator of madcap narrative paintings, drawings and installations, Copley was a unique figure in postwar art history well known for his humorous and sarcastic imagery. Known by his nom de plume CPLY, he was a self-taught artist pushing the limits of art-world decorum, as well as a collector, gallerist and connector of some of the most important artists of the 20th century, in particular European Surrealists and Dadaists such as Max Ernst, Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp, and American Pop artists. William N. Copley assembles works from all phases of the artist’s creation, from the Parisian years to the last period spent mostly in solitude in his home in Sugarloaf Key, Florida, tracing the development of his painterly style and continual experiments with line, color, pattern and allegory. In Paris in the early 1950s, Copley developed a unique, ribald figurative style that bucked prevailing trends toward abstraction, taking inspiration from Surrealist painting, American, cartoon and silent-movie imagery. Throughout his career, he repeatedly returned to subjects like nudes, cars and nationalism; later works reveal his abiding interest in political and psychosexual themes, surrealist visual punning and vaudevillian Americana, making Copley a link between European Surrealist and American Pop circles. Featuring approximately 250 paintings and works on paper, the volume accompanies the first comprehensive presentation of the artist’s work in an American museum, also scheduled to travel to Italy.

About the Authors

Germano Celant is an art historian, critic, and curator. He currently serves as the artistic director of Fondazione Prada, Milan.

Toby Kamps, who initiated the Copley retrospective exhibition, is curator of modern and contemporary art at the Menil Collection, Houston. His curatorial endeavors at the museum include Nice. Luc Tuymans, Wols: A Retrospective, and Silence, and he was a primary contributor to their respective catalogues.

Gwen L. Allen is an assistant professor of art history at San Francisco State University, where she specializes in modern and contemporary art, art criticism, and visual culture. She is the author of Artists’ Magazines: An Alternative Space for Art (2011).

Paul B. Franklin is an independent scholar and journalist. He has written extensively on Marcel Duchamp and was the editor and translator of The Artist and His Critic Stripped Bare: The Correspondence of Marcel Duchamp and Robert Lebel (2016)

Alison M. Gingeras is a curator and writer. She has contributed texts to Artforum and Parkett, among other publications, and is adjunct curator at the Dallas Contemporary, where she organized Black Sheep Feminism: The Art of Sexual Politics (2016).

Jonathan Griffin is a freelance writer, critic, editor, and curator. His work has appeared in Flash Art, Aperture, Art in America, and the Brooklyn Rail, and he co-authored and edited Grizedale Arts: Adding Complexity To Confusion (2009).

ISBN: 9788887029642