Selected Writings is an essential companion for readers interested in the extraordinary life, work, and artistic milieu of William Nelson Copley (1919–1996). Though best known for his radical work as a painter, which he pursued under the name CPLY, Copley was also a talented writer and the texts gathered here present his most significant essays, articles, and conversations. Among Copley’s reflections on art and artists (from Man Ray to Joseph Cornell) is “Portrait of the Artist as Young Dealer,” a vividly humorous account of his brief tenure as a dealer in Surrealist art in 1940s Los Angeles. Also included are key interviews and correspondence illuminating Copley’s own practice and a selection of his newspaper articles, originally published in the 1950s and reprinted now for the first time.
I. Writings About Art and Artists
Address by William N. Copley, Esq.
Man Ray: The Dada of Us All
Marcel Duchamp 1887– 1968
The New Piece
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dealer
About the Hare and the Tortoise but Mostly About the Hare
In My Career as a Name-Dropper
II. Interviews, Texts, and Letters
Excerpts from Oral History Interview with William Nelson Copley
Project for a Dictionary of Platitudes
CPLY: An Interview by Sam Hunter
CPLY by Vincent Fremont
Advice to a Young Artist
Letter to Judith Young-Mallin
A Conversation with William Copley by Alan Jones
III. Early Writings
Copley Galleries to Show Works of Joseph Cornell
British Broadcasting Corp.
House in the Country
Chronology by Anthony Atlas
Note on the Texts
Edited by Anthony Atlas and the William N. Copley Estate.