William Nelson Copley was both an outsider and an insider in the art world. Known by his signature moniker, CPLY, he created a body of largely figurative paintings, drawings, and installations. His work resisted prevailing trends towards abstraction in post-World War II art and provided the foreground for his lifelong preoccupations with Americana. Preferring no one particular style, Copley’s experimentation with form, style, color, and material continued throughout his career. He was also a collector, patron, and connector of some of the most important artists of the twentieth century, including European Surrealists and American Pop artists such as Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Max Ernst, René Magritte, and Andy Warhol. Co-organized by the Menil Collection and Fondazione Prada, this exhibition of 120 works traces Copley’s stylistic and thematic development, examining the full arc of his career from the late 1940s to the 1990s.
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