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

    Private Collection (gifted by the artist)
    Christie's, Amsterdam, 5 November 2014, lot 197
    Galerie Jamar, Antwerp
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2018

  • 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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Untitled (A Collection of 22 Sketches for William N. Copley's Flags Series)

signed 'CPLY' lower edge of 21 of the sheets
graphite, crayon and felt-tip pen on 22 sheets of paper
each sheet 10 x 13 cm (3 7/8 x 5 1/8 in.) or 13 x 10 cm (5 1/8 x 3 7/8 in.)

£15,000 - 20,000 

Sold for £20,160

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