William N. Copley also known as CPLY, was an American painter, writer, gallerist, collector, patron, publisher and art entrepreneur. His works as an artist have been classified as late Surrealist and precursory to Pop Art. During his career, his practice spanned a wide range of different subjects, approaching different art movements. While he had the chance to meet the main representatives of Surrealist movement and to embrace their ideas, during the 50s and 60s his aesthetics was also close to the one of the emerging Pop Art current. His works are featured in private and public institutions worldwide, such as the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Stedelijk Museum, and many more.  Copley is widely considered a significative representative of post-war painting ­– unique for his links between European Surrealism and American Pop Art, and celebrated for his untrained painting style and eccentric, amatory themes.

William N. Copley, New York, 1919-1966, USA
William N. Copley
New York, 1919

Past Exhibitions

The World on Paper

27/09/2018 — 07/01/2019

William N. Copley

Fondazione Prada, Milan
20/10/2016 — 08/01/2017

Solo Shows

Publishing the Portable Museum: William N. Copley’s The Letter Edged in Black Press, Alden Projects, New York, US

William N. Copley: Women, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, US

William N. Copley: The World According to CPLY(traveling retrospective), The Menil Collection, Houston, Texas; Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy
ART Cologne, Galerie Klaus Gerrit Friese, Berlin, Germany
William N. Copley, Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy

Drawings: 1962-1973, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York
Galerie 1900 – 2000, Paris, France
William N. Copley: Paintings from 1960 – 1994, Showroom by Paul van Esch & Partners Art Advisory, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

William Copley: Paintings and Mirrors, Michael Fuchs Galerie, Berlin, Germany

Finally We Laugh, Linn Luhn, Dusseldorf, Germany
Confiserie CPLY, Paul Kasmin Gallery and Venus Over Manhattan, Basel, Switzerland

Group Shows

Kinder Gentler Nation, Karma, New York
Mr. Natural; And Other Works from the Allan Frumkin Gallery (1952 – 1987), VENUS, New York
Nudes, Sadie Coles, London, England
Atlas, Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy

Animal Farm, The Brant Foundation, Greenwhich, Connecticut, US
Schlaf: Eine produktive Zeitverschwendung, Museen Böttcherstrasse, Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum, Bremen, Germany
An Incomplete History of Protest: Selections from the Whitney’s Collection, 1940 – 2017, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, US
America! America! How real is real?, Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden, Germany

William Copley, Elma Talbot, Ina van Zyl, Galerie Onrust, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
OlympiaKarma at Galerie Patrick Seguin, Paris, France
William N. Copley and His Mentor, Magritte, VENUS at FIAC, Gran Palais, Paris, France
The Revolutionary Sucide Mechanized Band, Rob Tufnell Gallery, Cologne, Germany
Impasse Ronsin, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, US

The Violent Crab, David Roberts Art Foundation, London, England
L’Impasse Ronsin, ADAA Art Fair, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, US
Viewer Discretion: Children of Bataille, Stux & Haller Gallery, New York, US
The Shadow is Taken, Algus Greenspon, New York, US
Saul Steinberg and William Copley: Take on the Life, Galerie Klauss Gerrit Friese, Berlin, Germany
Painting 2.0: Expressions in the Information Age; Museum Brandhorst, Munich, Germany; Mumok Museum, Vienna, Switzerland

Pop Abstraction, Fredericks and Fraser Gallery and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York, US
Purple States, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, US
Live and Let Die, Modern Art, London, England
Alexander the Great: The Iolas Gallery 1955 – 1987, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, US
Art Basel Miami Beach, Sadie Coles HQ, Miami
The Surrealist Bungalow, Linn Lühn, Düsseldorf, Germany
What Nerve!: Alternative Figures in American Art, 1960 to the Present, RISD Museum, Providence, US

Re-View, Hauser and Wirth Gallery, London, England
Gang Bust: William N. Copley & Big Fat Black Cock. Inc, Venus Over Manhattan, New York, US
Masculine / Feminine, Michael Fuchs Galerie, Berlin, Germany
Building the Sukka, House of Gaga, Mexico City, Mexico

Contacts & Details

City of birth: New York Country of birth: USA Date of birth: 1919