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  • December 31, 1969 | 7:00 PM
    December 31, 1969
    7:00 PM

William Pope.L

Born in Newark, NJ, 1955
Lives and works in Lewiston, ME

Day 15: William Pope.L

William Pope.L addresses racism, classism, and other sociopolitical ills through provocative performance art, theater, painting, and photography. He’s best known for his eRacism crawl series, which began in the late 1970s. In one such “crawl,” The Great American Way, he wore a Superman suit and strapped a skateboard onto his back and crawled 22 miles up New York City’s Broadway; it took five years to complete.

In 2005, Pope.L created an interactive installation that traveled from Maine to Missouri called The Black Factory. Participants were encouraged to bring any artifacts that are considered 'black'—hair picks, James Brown LPs, etc.—and the performance troupe called the Factory Workers would simulate a “conversion” of the products.

Watch an excerpt of an interview with the University of Colorado of Pope.L explaining the Black Factory, then cast your vote in the poll below:


What “black” items would you have taken to the Black Factory?

William Pope.L-What “black” items would you have taken to the Black Factory?


1981 M.F.A., Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
1978 Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
1978 B.A., Montclair State College, Montclair, NJ
1975 Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY (one year of coursework)

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2010 William Pope.L (solo presentation) Mitchell-Innes & Nash, FIAC, Paris
landscape + object + animal, Mitchell-Innes & Nash
color isn't matter, Samson Projects, Boston, MA
2009 The Black Factory, Art Projects Art Basel Miami Beach
Allan Kaprow Yard, Hauser & Wirth, NY                               
Corbu Pops, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts Harvard University
2008 Animal Nationalism, Grand Arts, Kansas City, MO
Biting Through Innocence. Gallerie Catherine Bastide, Brussels, Belgium
2008 October Projects, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York, NY
2007 Focus: Willam Pope.L–Drawing, Dreaming, Drowning, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
William Pope.L–Art After White People: Time, Trees, & Celluloid…, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa
Monica, CA [cat.]
William Pope.L: snow, spraypaint, hair, sperm & baloney, Kenny Schachter ROVE, London, UK
William Pope.L: The Black Factory and Other Good Works, YBCA Galleries at Yerba Buena Center for the
Arts, San Francisco, CA [cat.]
2006 Trophy Room, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria [cat.]

Selected Group Exhibitions

2010 The Last Newspaper, New Museum, New York, NY
2009 30 Seconds Off an Inch, The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY
2008 Paul Thek: In the Contexts of Today's Contemporary Art (PART TWO),  Sammlung Falkenburg, Hamburg, Germany
Criminal: Art and Criminal Justice in America, The International Center for the Arts at San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Informal Architectures Pt.2, Winnepeg, CA
Retail Value, Dorsky Gallery, Long Island City, NY
Black Is, Black Ain’t, The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL [cat.]
2007 Get Lost: Artists Map Downtown New York, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY
Silicone Valley, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY [cat.]
2006 A noir, E blanc, I rouge, U vert O bleu – Farben, Kunstmuseum Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen, Magdeburg,
Germany [cat.]
Dak’Art, 7ème Biennale de l’Art Africain Contemporain, Dakar, Senegal

Selected Collections

Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
François Pinault Collection, Venice, Italy
Sammlung Falckenberg, Hamburg, Germany
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

30 Americans is organized by the Rubell Family Collection, Miami. The presenting sponsor at the Corcoran Gallery of Art is Altria Group.

Additional support has been provided by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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