Magenta Plains is pleased to present a selection of Peter Nagy’s Xeroxes, produced in conjunction with our exhibition, EFFICIENT FRONTIER.
Originally generated in 1982-84 from cut-and-paste collages made from clip art, logos, and found imagery, Nagy’s formative Xeroxes were reproduced in infinite editions for magazines and catalogs and sometimes sold laminated. Nagy never showed the original collages and claimed that there was no real “original”– the work of art was in fact the reproduction.
Nagy, fascinated with the signs and the systems of cultures (including maps, flow charts, and floor plans) and with a background in graphic design, used the space of advertising to "jump into the space of painting" as he continued to work from found logos and hybridized collages in later bodies of work such as the Cancer, Baroque and Rococo paintings.
These Xeroxes, made available for the first time since the 1980s, blur the line between art historical manifestos and paper advertisements, at once "complex and accessible, playful but also militantly critical of all things corporate and institutional."*
*Quoted from Richard Milazzo's Entertainment Erases History, page 22.