William N. Copley

Place de l’Opéra


Oil paint on canvas
Support: 1159 x 810 mm
Presented by Sir Roland Penrose 1961

Catalogue entry

William N. Copley born 1919 [- 1996]

T00442 Place de l'Opéra 1956

Inscribed 'Cply' on the car's numberplate
Oil on canvas, 45 5/8 x 31 7/8 (116 x 81)
Presented by Sir Roland Penrose 1965
Prov: Sir Roland Penrose, London (purchased from the artist through the Galerie du Dragon)
Exh: Copley: Peintures Récentes, Galerie du Dragon, Paris, March 1956 (works not listed); Cply, ICA, London, May-July 1965 (8)

The artist wrote (23 March 1962): 'The car had a smash-up outside the Paris Opéra and the little lady and gentleman at the back are opera singers'. His exhibition at the Galerie du Dragon in which this work was first shown included various other fantastic paintings of cars. As Patrick Waldberg wrote in the catalogue introduction: 'Copley's recent production, here assembled, shows him a prey to an obsession with cars'.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.131, reproduced p.131