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 Untitled
William N. Copley Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
William N. Copley Scorpio Rising
William N. Copley Untitled
William N. Copley Untitled (The Card Players)
William N. Copley Conçue
William N. Copley Candlemass
William N. Copley See Yourself As Lovers See You
William N. Copley Trust Lust
William N. Copley Gang Bust
William N. Copley Inspector General
Big Fat Black Cock, Inc. (Bjarne Melgaard) Untitled
Big Fat Black Cock, Inc. (Bjarne Melgaard) Untitled
Big Fat Black Cock, Inc. (Bjarne Melgaard) Untitled
Big Fat Black Cock, Inc. (Bjarne Melgaard) Untitled
Big Fat Black Cock, Inc. (Bjarne Melgaard) Untitled
Big Fat Black Cock, Inc. (Bjarne Melgaard) Untitled
Bjarne Melgaard Allen Jones Remakes - Table
Bjarne Melgaard Allen Jones Remakes - Chair
Bjarne Melgaard Allen Jones Remakes - Hat Stand
Bjarne Melgaard Allen Jones Remakes - Table
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