Pope.L, Artist and Performer Dies at 68

Thursday, December 28, 2023
Pope.L, Artist and Performer Dies at 68

Artist Pope.L, who worked across the fields of performance, installation, and sculpture, died suddenly in his Chicago home at the age of 68 on December 23.

One of the foremost conceptual artists of our time, describing himself as a visual and performance-theater artist, as well as an educator, Pope.L fundamentally challenged and changed the last 50 years of visual art in the United States. His longstanding history of provocative and absurdist performances along with his wide-ranging oeuvre of installations, objects, and paintings undermined conventional notions of language, materiality, and meaning. His elegant, indeterminate, and often humorous, yet bitingly poignant criticism of our history has only recently begun to be fully recognized.

In an interview for the monograph, member: Pope.L, published by The Museum of Modern Art in 2019, the artist noted that “the link between language and performance is duration; both exist only via the crucible of time and are continually remade in time.”

Pope.L’s work is currently featured in a solo exhibition entitled Hospital at the South London Gallery, London, UK.  Other recent solo exhibitions, performances, and projects include Between A Figure and A Letter at Schinkel Pavillion, Berlin (2022); Misconceptions at Portikus, Frankfurt (2021) and Instigation, Aspiration, Perspiration, a trio of complementary exhibitions of his work in New York organized by the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and Public Art Fund (2019). Pope.L has had previous solo exhibitions at MOCA Los Angeles, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, The Cleveland Institute of Art, The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, and many other institutions.

His work is represented by Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York, Vielmetter Los Angeles, Los Angeles, and Modern Art, London.

Main Image :A portrait of Pope.L (photo by Peyton Fulford, courtesy Modern Art London)

Stephanie Cime

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