William N. Copley - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale London Friday, March 4, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Collection Henri Farges, Paris
    Galerie 1900–2000, Paris (acquired from the above in April 1989)
    Galerie Jamar, Antwerp (acquired from the above in February 1991)
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2018

  • Exhibited

    Paris, Galerie Iris Clert, William N. Copley, The United States of the World: Flags by Bill Copley, 21 March - 21 April 1962 (titled Belgique)

  • Artist Biography

    William N. Copley

    American • 1919 - 1996

    William N. Copley, also known by the name of CPLY, drew attention to himself in the late 1940s by fusing elements of Surrealism and Pop Art.  Copley focused on symbols of American pop culture—staples of American society including pin-up girls, cowboys and the flag—and transformed them into more accessible, universal icons that could appeal to both men and women without bias.

    In the '70s, Copley distinguished himself from the rest of the Surrealists by attempting to represent the tumultuous relationship between erotic and pornographic symbolism. He celebrated the female body, sexual freedom and, most of all, the promiscuity of America.

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Belgian Flag

oil on canvas
65.5 x 81.2 cm (25 3/4 x 31 7/8 in.)

£50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for £63,000

Contact Specialist

Simon Tovey

Specialist, Associate Director, Head of Day Sale, 20th Century & Contemporary Art
+44 20 7318 4084


20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 4 March 2022