In Room #4, KEWENIG shows William N. Copley's Imaginary Flags of Ten Countries (1972). Expressing his rejection of all forms of nationalism, Copley designed these ten humorous flags for different nationalities, demonstrating the uniting power of art as a universal phenomenon without borders. The work was originally created for the artist's participation at documenta 5 in 1972, each flag titled individually as Imaginary Flag for U.S.A., Imaginary Flag for U.S.S.R, etc. and equipped with ironic symbols such as wine bottles representing France or an umbrella illustrating the United Kingdom. An earlier edition of the work, consisting of different flags in a smaller size, from the years 1962–1967 is today part of The Philadelphia Museum of Art's collection.
William N. Copley (1919–1996) grew up as the adopted son of a newspaper publisher in New York. He was active as an artist, writer and publisher also under his token CPLY. Combining Surrealism and Pop Art his two-dimensional works represent a unique position within post-war painting. Copley's work has been internationally shown in numerous solo exhibitions and is part of renowned institutional collections such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Tate, London; or the Museum Ludwig in Cologne.
Press release courtesy KEWENIG.