Pope.L - New Now New York Wednesday, March 3, 2021 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Institute of Contemporary Art at the Maine College of Art & the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art
    Artists Space, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2004

  • Exhibited

    Portland, Institute of Contemporary Art at the Maine College of Art; Houston, DiverseWorks Artspace; Portland Institute of Contemporary Art; New York, Artists Space, William Pope.L: eRacism, July 26, 2002–February 21, 2004

  • Literature

    Mark H.C. Bessire, ed., William Pope.L, The Friendliest Black Artist in America, Cambridge, 2002, p. 215 (illustrated, p. 117)

  • Artist Biography


    American • 1955

    Pope.L, who calls himself “The Friendliest Black Artist in America©”, is a visual artist and educator whose multidisciplinary practice uses binaries, contraries and preconceived notions embedded within contemporary culture. “At 62, POPE.L is inarguably the greatest performance artist of our time,” Megan O’Grady wrote in The New York Times Style Magazine in March 2018, “This is exactly the kind of label he would find absurd, but over the course of the last four decades, no artist has so consistently broken down the accepted boundaries of the genre in order to bring it closer to the public, with lacerating, perspicacious and gloriously anti-authoritarian projects that play with our received notions of race and class and almost always cut more than one way.”

    Building upon his provocative performances and public interventions, Pope.L has applied the same social and formal strategies to painting, photography, performance, video, and installation to probe issues of language, system, class, race and gender. For his RePhotocollage series, Pope.L has manipulated and combined images of body parts to create “figural encounters”. Originating out of the artist’s desire to betray the artist’s hand while simultaneously creating images highly suggestive of the body, these compositions are scanned, flattened and reprinted on single large planes of paper. 

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Property from the Estate of Miriam S. Poser


Lot offered with No Reserve


archival pigment print on Hahnemühle rag paper
59 3/4 x 35 7/8 in. (151.8 x 91.1 cm)
Executed in 2000–2002, this work is unique.

$8,000 - 12,000 

Sold for $5,040

Contact Specialist

Patrizia Koenig
Associate Specialist, Head of New Now Sale
20th Century & Contemporary Art pkoenig@phillips.com

New Now

New York Auction 3 March 2021