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Untitled, 1964

Ink on paper
24 × 19 in
61 × 48.3 cm
Bidding closed
About the work
Provenance
P
Phillips

Property from the Estate of Howard Karshan

Property from the Estate of Howard Karshan

Medium
Drawing, Collage or other Work on Paper
Signature
Signed and dated "CPLY 64" lower right
William Nelson Copley
American, 1919–1996
Follow

Forging an unprecedented and unlikely link between the European Surrealist and American Pop Art movements, William N. Copley painted sweetly humorous, softly pornographic vignettes. His works are Surrealist in their unbridled expressions of sexual desire—he painted couples making love, men and women fantasizing about each other, figures in various states of undress and stages of foreplay. Through his use of bright colors, cartoonish figures, and wildly patterned backgrounds, Copley tempered his sometimes-X-rated imagery with a visual language similar to that of Pop Art. While his imagery is mined from a variety of sources, including racy magazines he would buy from the seedy shops that used to dominate New York’s Times Square, Copley’s work is whimsical, joyful, and lyrical. As he claims: “Humor, after all, is the reminder that we are mortal.” As his paintings suggest, so, apparently, is sex.

Save
Save
view
View in room
share
Share
Save
Save
view
View in room
share
Share
About the work
Provenance
P
Phillips

Property from the Estate of Howard Karshan

Property from the Estate of Howard Karshan

Medium
Drawing, Collage or other Work on Paper
Signature
Signed and dated "CPLY 64" lower right
William Nelson Copley
American, 1919–1996
Follow

Forging an unprecedented and unlikely link between the European Surrealist and American Pop Art movements, William N. Copley painted sweetly humorous, softly pornographic vignettes. His works are Surrealist in their unbridled expressions of sexual desire—he painted couples making love, men and women fantasizing about each other, figures in various states of undress and stages of foreplay. Through his use of bright colors, cartoonish figures, and wildly patterned backgrounds, Copley tempered his sometimes-X-rated imagery with a visual language similar to that of Pop Art. While his imagery is mined from a variety of sources, including racy magazines he would buy from the seedy shops that used to dominate New York’s Times Square, Copley’s work is whimsical, joyful, and lyrical. As he claims: “Humor, after all, is the reminder that we are mortal.” As his paintings suggest, so, apparently, is sex.

Untitled, 1964

Ink on paper
24 × 19 in
61 × 48.3 cm
Bidding closed
Other works by William Nelson Copley