New York

Peter Nagy, Entertainment Erases History (detail), 1983, UV print on vinyl, 6' × 11' 1".

Peter Nagy, Entertainment Erases History (detail), 1983, UV print on vinyl, 6' × 11' 1".

Peter Nagy

Jeffrey Deitch | 18 Wooster Street

As an artist and a cofounder of legendary East Village gallery Nature Morte, Peter Nagy launched his storied career amid the combative, hyperintellectual atmosphere of 1980s postmodernity. This retrospective survey of works produced between 1982 and 1992, all rendered in black and white, constituted a richly nuanced time capsule of a paradigm-shifting period.

To revisit work predicated on cultural critique several decades after its production is to submit it to quite an acid test. How amazing to discover that Nagy’s early output, which shows the artist’s penchant for mapping transformations wrought by expanded media, increased corporate power, and concentrated flows of capital, felt downright prescient today. Like Warhol, Nagy was practically clairvoyant in his observations about art and its commodification, the ballooning culture of the copy, and our ongoing anxieties about authenticity.

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