previews

  • “William N. Copley: The World According to CPLY”

    The Menil Collection
    1533 Sul Ross Street
    February 19 - July 24

    Curated by Germano Celant and Toby Kamps

    “The World According to CPLY” offers the first comprehensive exhibition in the US of the self-taught artist known as CPLY (pronounced “SEE-ply”). A painter of bawdy, cartoonish, and often politically barbed scenes, Copley was also one of the most important collectors of Surrealist art and, briefly, a dealer in it: In 1948, he opened a Beverly Hills gallery with his brother-in-law, which, financially unsuccessful, closed after six months. Two decades later, Copley launched S.M.S. (Shit Must Stop), a periodical consisting of prints, multiples, and sound recordings that sought to bypass the commercial art world by making works widely available at a modest subscription rate. In addition to all six of the S.M.S. portfolios, which include contributions by Marcel Duchamp, Bruce Nauman, and Yoko Ono, among many others, the Menil show will feature more than one hundred of Copley’s figurative paintings and works on paper from the early 1950s through the ’90s, as well as selections from the artist’s personal collection. Travels to the Fondazione Prada, Milan, Oct. 2016–Jan. 2017.