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William N. Copley Bjarne Melgaard Gang Bust Allen Jones Remakes

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

William N. Copley Bjarne Melgaard Candlemass Trust Lust See Yourself as Lovers See You Untitled

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

William N. Copley See Yourself as Lovers See Bjarne Melgaard Untitled Trust Lust Conçue

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

William N. Copley Inspector General Homage à Man Ray

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

William N. Copley Untitled (The Card Players) Scorpio Rising

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

William N. Copley Untitled (Folding-Screen) Untitled See Yourself as Lovers See You Bjarne Melgaard Allen Jones Remakes

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

William N. Copley Untitled Bjarne Melgaard Untitled Allen Jones Remakes

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

William N. Copley Untitled (Card Players) Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Scorpio Rising Bjarne Melgaard Untitled

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

William N. Copley Untitled (Folding Screen)

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

William N. Copley Candlemass

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

William N. Copley Scorpio Rising

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

William N. Copley See Yourself as Lovers See You

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

William N. Copley Untitled (Card Players)

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

William N. Copley Trust Lust

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

William N. Copley Homage à Man Ray

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

William N. Copley Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

William N. Copley Inspector General

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

William N. Copley Untitled

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

William N. Copley Conçue

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

William N. Copley Gang Bust

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

William N. Copley Untitled

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

William N. Copley Untitled (Folding Screen)

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

William N. Copley Untitled (Folding Screen)

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

Bjarne Melgaard Untitled

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

Bjarne Melgaard Untitled

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

Bjarne Melgaard Untitled

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

Bjarne Melgaard Untitled

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

Bjarne Melgaard Untitled

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

Bjarne Melgaard Untitled

Installation view of Gang Bust, Venus Over Manhattan, 2013

Press Release

Press Release

Gang Bust: William N. Copley & BFBC, Inc.
April 11 - June 22, 2013
Opening: Wednesday, April 11th, 6:00 - 9:00 pm

Venus Over Manhattan
980 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10075

(New York, NY) – New York-born painter, writer, gallerist, collector, publisher and art entrepreneur William N. Copley (1919-1996) began his career in the arts as a dealer of Surrealist and Dada titans Rene Magritte, Man Ray, Max Ernst, Joseph Cornell and Yves Tanguy. Such was the impact of their work upon the imagination of this American eccentric – who dubbed himself CPLY – that he began to paint on his own in the 1950s after shuttering his Los Angeles gallery. Mixing eroticism, symbolism, whimsy and darkness, CPLY earned the enthusiastic encouragement of the very artists whose works his business had represented. By the early 1970s, he developed a signature style in which everyday objects or (more often and now legendarily) sexually explicit couplings were presented against lushly patterned backgrounds. In these paintings, Copley emerges as a mediator between European postwar art and American Pop Art, and a bemused if troubled guide through the charged sexual, psychological and emotional terra incognita he once referred to as “the tragedy of man and woman.”

In tribute to this 20th century original, Venus Over Manhattan gallery will devote its Spring 2013 program to William Copley with two presentations – Gang Bust, an exhibition in New York City, and Confiserie CPLY, a site-specific art and candy project at the historic Confiserie Schiesser chocolate shop in Basel, Switzerland.


IN NEW YORK

Beginning April 11th, the gallery’s New York City space at 980 Madison Avenue will present Gang Bust. Curated by artist Bjarne Melgaard’s Big Fat Black Cock, Inc. (BFBC, Inc.), this exhibition centers upon a selection of important CPLY paintings spanning the artist’s career from the 1950s through the 1980s. Among these are key examples from two of CPLY’s most celebrated series – the satirical, Pop-influenced “Nouns” paintings of singular everyday objects set against boldly patterned backgrounds, and the infamous “X-Rated” series from the 1970s depicting sexually explicit couplings.

CPLY’s paintings will be exhibited alongside a variety of new works, including paintings and furniture, created by BFBC, Inc., in response to William Copley’s art, politics and life.  Whereas CPLY’s own paintings depict Caucasian figures almost exclusively, BFBC, Inc., has repainted his predecessor’s sexual partners in CPLY’s signature naïve style but as African-Americans. Connecting CPLY’s work to the larger context of his era, BFBC, Inc., also will present furniture inspired by the work of Allen Jones, the British Pop sculptor (b. 1937) whose emergence coincided with Copley’s own. For Gang Bust, BFBC, Inc., has made objects that borrow from a series of erotic sculptures Jones made in the late 1960s and early 70s, known for their focus on bondage, fetishism and the transformation of women into human furniture.

By curating CPLY’s work and offering new interpretations of it, BFBC, Inc. also invites fresh associations that reach beyond the accepted narratives of CPLY’s career and suggest a kinship of practice across time. Melgaard and CPLY are linked by their emphasis upon collaborations with other artists and their rejection of the status quo as it regards politics, sexuality, morality, good taste, good citizenship and the accepted values of the art world.

Gang Bust will remain on view at Venus Over Manhattan through June 1st.


IN BASEL

From June 1st through June 15th, and in conjunction with the annual Art Basel fair in Switzerland, Venus will present the second part of its homage to William Copley with Confiserie CPLY. This project is a collaboration between the gallery and the historic Confiserie Schiesser, the oldest café and chocolate shop in Basel, Switzerland, founded in 1870 and renowned across Europe for its approach to candy making as fine art.

For two weeks, the Confiserie will offer customers to its street level shop a special limited edition product: hand made chocolates decorated in relief with figures from CPLY’s painting Villa Rosa (1959). In the tea salon located on the second of third levels of its landmark building across from the Drei König Hotel (Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois), Confiserie Schiesser also will serve kirsch with CPLY chocolates alongside its regular menu items, in spaces decorated with custom-made CPLY wallpaper derived from the wallpaper pattern key a CPLY canvas. In these rooms Venus will present eight major paintings by the artist.

Confiserie CPLY coincides with the 40th anniversary of Art Basel’s first special single-country exhibitions in 1973 – a show devoted to American art.

For further information about the exhibition and availability, please contact the gallery at info@venusovermanhattan.com

For all press inquiries related to the exhibition, please email press@venusovermanhattan.com

William N. Copley Homage à Man Ray

William N. Copley
Homage à Man Ray, 1950
oil on linen
20 x 16 in
50.8 x 40.6 cm

William N. Copley Untitled

William N. Copley
Untitled, 1970
oil on canvas
51 1⁄4 x 64 in
130.2 x 162.6 cm

William N. Copley Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

William N. Copley
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, 1972-1973
acrylic on linen
45 x 59 1/4 in
114.3 x 150.5 cm

William N. Copley Scorpio Rising

William N. Copley
Scorpio Rising, 1973
acrylic on canvas
58 x 45 in
147.3 x 114.3 cm

William N. Copley Untitled

William N. Copley
Untitled, 1978
acrylic on canvas
66 1/4 x 55 1/8 in
168.3 x 140 cm

William N. Copley Untitled (The Card Players)

William N. Copley
Untitled (The Card Players), 1981
acrylic on linen
64 x 52
162.6 x 132.1 cm

William N. Copley Conçue

William N. Copley
Conçue, 1982
acrylic, lace, suspenders on canvas
29 x 51 in
73.7 x 129.5 cm

William N. Copley

William N. Copley
Untitled (Folding Screen), 1982
folding screen, acrylic on canvas in 3 parts
each: 71 1⁄2 x 24 in (181.6 x 61 cm)
overall: 71 1/2 x 72 in (181.6 x 182.9 cm)

William N. Copley

William N. Copley
Untitled (Folding Screen), 1982
folding screen, acrylic on canvas in 3 parts
each: 71 1⁄2 x 24 in (181.6 x 61 cm)
overall: 71 1/2 x 72 in (181.6 x 182.9 cm)

William N. Copley Candlemass

William N. Copley
Candlemass, 1985
oil and buttons on canvas
64 x 52 in
162.6 x 132.1 cm

William N. Copley See Yourself As Lovers See You

William N. Copley
See Yourself As Lovers See You, 1987
oil on canvas
53 1⁄2 x 66 in
135.9 x 167.6 cm

William N. Copley Trust Lust

William N. Copley
Trust Lust, 1988
acrylic on canvas
38 x 51 in
96.5 x 129.5 cm

William N. Copley Gang Bust

William N. Copley
Gang Bust, 1994
acrylic on linen
32 x 40 in
81.3 x 101.6 cm

William N. Copley Inspector General

William N. Copley
Inspector General, 1994
Acrylic and collage on canvas
40 x 32 in
101.6 x 81.3 cm

Big Fat Black Cock, Inc. (Bjarne Melgaard) Untitled

Big Fat Black Cock, Inc. (Bjarne Melgaard)
Untitled, 2011
oil on canvas
39 x 47 in
99.1 x 119.4 cm

Big Fat Black Cock, Inc. (Bjarne Melgaard) Untitled

Big Fat Black Cock, Inc. (Bjarne Melgaard)
Untitled, 2011
oil on canvas
39 x 47 in
99.1 x 119.4 cm

Big Fat Black Cock, Inc. (Bjarne Melgaard) Untitled

Big Fat Black Cock, Inc. (Bjarne Melgaard)
Untitled, 2011
oil on canvas
39 x 47 in
99.1 x 119.4 cm

Big Fat Black Cock, Inc. (Bjarne Melgaard) Untitled

Big Fat Black Cock, Inc. (Bjarne Melgaard)
Untitled, 2011
oil on canvas
39 x 47 in
99.1 x 119.4 cm

Big Fat Black Cock, Inc. (Bjarne Melgaard) Untitled

Big Fat Black Cock, Inc. (Bjarne Melgaard)
Untitled, 2011
oil on canvas
39 x 47 in
99.1 x 119.4 cm

Big Fat Black Cock, Inc. (Bjarne Melgaard) Untitled

Big Fat Black Cock, Inc. (Bjarne Melgaard)
Untitled, 2011
oil on canvas
39 x 47 in
99.1 x 119.4 cm

Bjarne Melgaard Allen Jones Remakes, 2013

Bjarne Melgaard
Allen Jones Remakes, 2013
suite of three figures, mixed media, fiberglass resin, human hair, leather, sheep skin, steel, acrylic paint, enamel paint, glass, lucite
various dimensions
​​edition of 3 + 1 AP

Bjarne Melgaard Allen Jones Remakes - Table

Bjarne Melgaard
Allen Jones Remakes - Table, 2013
mixed media, fiberglass resin, human hair, leather, sheep skin, steel, acrylic paint, enamel paint, glass, lucite
58 x 30 x 26 in
147.3 x 76.2 x 66 cm
​​edition of 3 + 1 AP

Bjarne Melgaard Allen Jones Remakes - Chair

Bjarne Melgaard
Allen Jones Remakes - Chair, 2013
mixed media, fiberglass resin, human hair, leather, sheep skin, steel, acrylic paint, enamel paint, glass, lucite
27 x 40 x 33 in
68.6 x 101.6 x 83.8 cm
edition of 3 + 1 AP

Bjarne Melgaard Allen Jones Remakes - Hat Stand

Bjarne Melgaard
Allen Jones Remakes - Hat Stand, 2013
mixed media, fiberglass resin, human hair, leather, sheep skin, steel, acrylic paint, enamel paint, glass, lucite
52 x 15 x 61 in
132.1 x 38.1 x 154.9 cm
​edition of 3 + 1 AP

Bjarne Melgaard Allen Jones Remakes - Table

Bjarne Melgaard
Allen Jones Remakes - Table, 2013
mixed media, fiberglass resin, human hair, leather, sheep skin, steel, acrylic paint, enamel paint, glass, lucite
58 x 30 x 32 in
147.3 x 76.2 x 81.3 cm
​​edition of 3 + 1 AP

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