A candid shot of Pope. L standing crossed armed in an unidentified industrial space resting his chin in his hand as he looks up at something off frame. He is wearing a mustard yellow tee with blue jeans. He is wearing glasses and a short, curly, salt-and-peppery body of hair rests on his head.Pope.L is a visual artist and educator whose multidisciplinary practice uses binaries, contraries and preconceived notions embedded within contemporary culture to create art works in various formats, for example, writing, painting, performance, installation, video and sculpture. Building upon his long history of enacting arduous, provocative, absurdist performances and interventions in public spaces, Pope.L applies some of the same social, formal and performative strategies to his interests in language, system, gender, race and community. The goals for his work are several: joy, money and uncertainty— not necessarily in that order. 

William Pope.L was born in b. 1955, Newark, New Jersey. He began his career in the 1970s, creating works that find their foothold in personal travail, reading philosophy, and performance and theatre training with Geoff Hendricks and Mabous Mines. He studied at Pratt Institute and later received his BA from Montclair State College in 1978. He also attended the Independent Study Program at the Whitney Museum of American Art before earning his MFA from Rutgers University in 1981. Pope.L is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including the Bucksbaum Award, Joyce Foundation Award, the Tiffany Foundation Award, the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship, the Bellagio Center Residency, Solomon R. Guggenheim Fellowship, Andy Warhol Foundation grant, Creative Capital Foundation grant, Franklin Furnace/Jerome Foundation grant, National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, Artists Space grant, and more. He lives and works in Chicago.

Listen to Pope.L talk about his work in English

Escuche el comentario de Pope.L en español


Work in the exhibition:

Candid shot of Pope at a canal during a sunny day. He is on one knee looking at the murky water as he scoops some up with his left hand. He is wearing a baseball cap, blue jeans, and a blue shirt.

Pope.L, Flint Water, 2017 - present



[Image description: Miranda Lash stands in front of Pope.L's work in the gallery. A red play button is in the bottom right corner.]