William N. Copley, "The Patriotism of CPLY and All That"

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William N. Copley—who as a painter signed his works "CPLY"—was something of a strange bird: the adopted scion of a Los Angeles publishing magnate, who—as a collector of Dada and Surrealism and later one of L.A.'s earliest dealers in contemporary art—became a foundational figure in that city's art scene. Yet his own work, with its peculiar blend of folk-art overtones and evident debt to the late style of his friend Picabia, had little to do with Left Coast aesthetics as they came to be. Nonetheless, he was a fascinating character, as well as bang-up artist whose tongue-in-cheek humor is especially evident in these "patriotically" themed paintings.


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