Works

Installation

Press Release

Paul Kasmin Gallery is pleased to participate in Frieze London, October 11 - 14, Booth F10, in Regent's Park. A selection of gallery artists will be exhibited including Mattia Bonetti, William N. Copley, Walton Ford, David LaChapelle, James Nares, Ivan Navarro, and Makoto Saito. William N. Copley's upcoming exhibition at Paul Kasmin Gallery, The Patriotism of CPLY and All That, will be on view from October 18 - November 24. David LaChapelle's upcoming exhibition at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Still Life, will be on display November 27 - January 19. Makoto Saito's first exhibition at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Face to Face / Composition, will be on view from October 18 - November 24.

Paul Kasmin Gallery will also present at Frieze London 2012 a special exhibition of William N. Copley’s The Temptation of Saint Anthony: A Boudoir Installation. On view together for the first time in 30 years will be four of Copley’s shaped and etched acrylic mirrors, depicting iconic figures and narratives from the world of CPLY. Men in bowler hats down tankards of beer in a saloon, peer around dressing screens, and attempt to seduce lovers. A female nude plays a sonata on a whimsically fashioned upright piano while, in other scenes, a similar character is hauled off by the cops or cast out of her community. Together the mirrors resemble outrageous fables, which Copley uses to direct the gaze of the viewer back onto society itself.

Copley created the designs for a total of eight works in the series, which were first shown at the Brooks Jackson Gallery in New York in early 1978. The installation was recreated at the Kunsthalle Berne in October 1980 and at the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum in Endhoven in January 1981 as part of a traveling retrospective organized by the Centre Georges Pompidou.

For the walls of his Boudoir installations, Copley produced exuberant wallpaper bearing his signature curvilinear brushstrokes, on which the mirrors hang. The artist invites viewers to enter this environment, where they can see their own reflections and catch themselves in the act of looking.

Copley’s career forged a critical link between Surrealism and American Pop, and here he combines both approaches to riotous effect. His imagery was often inspired by popular culture from earlier eras—the lines of the frontier poet Robert W. Service, Sears Roebuck catalogues, police gazettes and silent melodramas from the 1920s. As Copley put it, “a time when society was Surrealist without knowing it—they took all these things that I am laughing about seriously.”

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