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 Peter Nagy  (1959 - )

About: Peter Nagy
 

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: abstract industrial, sculptor

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Peter Nagy
An example of work by Peter Nagy
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Biography from Butler Institute of American Art:
By most accounts the artist Peter Nagy was one of the few intellectuals of the notoriously anti-intellectual East Village scene of the mid-1980s in New York City. With Canadian artist Alan Becher, he cofounded Nature Morte, which along with Meyer Vaisman's International With Monument was one of the few galleries at that time that specialized in conceptualist, Post-Modernist work.

His own art -- graphic museum floor plans marked with corporate logos -- perfectly articulated the period's awareness of the corporate capture of culture. Then, after a few shows in SoHo, which were notable for applying a kind of black-and-white Ben-Day "cancer" to Pop imagery, Nagy grew his hair long and moved to India.

Many firsthand observers of the 80s art scene cite first and foremost the sheer numbers of young artists attempting to break into the gallery scene during the decade. The postwar baby boom, which peaked in 1959, led to an outpouring of art-school grads in the early 80s. Of this increase in activity, Nagy commented:

"Sometimes it seems as though a majority of my generation, having grown up in the fertile 60s, pursued careers in the creative arts, and the New York art world simply couldn't accommodate this glut of brash, snot-nosed artists eager to exhibit their goods, and consequently burst at the seams. Second, the boom market enabled a generation of artist-entrepreneurs not only to start their own galleries but to keep their doors open and flourish." (Artforum, 10/99)

Like many other artists of the era, Nagy was influenced by such alternative spaces and happenings as Collaborative Project's (Colab) "Times Square Show," the lower East Side gallery ABC No Rio, and the Bronx space Fashion Moda, all venues and organizations who showed how art world success could be achieved —at least for a short time—outside the boundaries of Soho's established commercial scene. (see East Village)


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