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About Pope.L

William Pope.L, who calls himself “The Friendliest Black Artist in America©” and is among the foremost contemporary performance artists, addresses labor, race, and identity in projects both searing and humorous. His work, which also includes photographs, sculptures, writings, paintings, drawings, and community projects, aligns with Fluxus. Asked if he considers himself an activist, he replied: “When people use the word activism today, it sounds like after-ism...The space I create in my work for others is more formalist, like, ‘change the world’” Among his numerous iconic pieces is The Great White Way, 22 miles, 9 years, 1 street (begun 1990), for which Pope.L donned a cape-less Superman costume, strapped a skateboard to his back, and dragged himself up the entire length of Manhattan’s Broadway—a visceral, ridiculous, poignant display, or, in his words, “public prostration in motion.”

American, b. 1955, Newark, New Jersey, based in Chicago, Illinois

Solo Shows on Artsy

2014
William Pope.L, Galerie Catherine Bastide, Brussels
2013
Pope.L: Colored Waiting Room, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York City

Group Shows on Artsy

2016
Less Than One, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
2015
Glenn Ligon: Encounters and Collisions, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool