THE MENIL COLLECTION
WILLIAM N. COPLEY: THE WORLD ACCORDING TO CPLY
Friday, Feb. 19, 2016 – Sunday, Jul. 24, 2016
The Menil Collection is proud to present the first retrospective in any U.S. museum devoted to the work of the American artist William N. Copley (1919-1996), creator of madcap narrative paintings, drawings, and installations in playful, ribald styles of his own invention. Organized in collaboration by the Menil Collection and Fondazione Prada and accompanied by a major publication, William N. Copley: The World According to CPLY will be shown in the U.S. exclusively at the Menil, from February 19 through July 24, 2016, before continuing to its only other presentation in Milan, Italy, from October 20, 2016, through January 8, 2017.
The exhibition includes 122 works by Copley from the Menil’s own holdings and public and private collections in the United States and Europe. Representing every phase of Copley’s work while illuminating the political and psychosexual themes, visual puns, and vaudevillian Americana to which he repeatedly returned, the exhibition traces the artist’s career from the late 1940s, when he began teaching himself to paint and was introduced to Surrealism and the Surrealists, into the 1990s. While the exhibition is on view at the Menil, the permanent collection galleries and museum foyer will feature a selection of Surrealist works that entered the museum from Copley’s own collection, including important paintings, drawings, and sculptures by artists such as Max Ernst, René Magritte, Man Ray, and Jean Tinguely.