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Art is about creative problem solving: Peter Nagy | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis

Curator and artist Peter Nagy of Nature Morte has been eclipsing the art world with an unfailing regularity. A graduate of Parsons School Of Design, New York, he ran Gallery Nature Morte in New York’s East Village. He also pursued a career as a successful artist. Based in New Delhi since 1992, he went on to establish Nature Morte, which has become synonymous with a generation of artists who have taken Indian art to the international stage.

Nagy conceived The Sculpture Park at Madhavendra Palace to bring together contemporary and traditional arts and to explore alternative contexts. Over to the man, who will act as the Chief Curator and Exhibition Designer of the annual project...

How was the process of curation? 

The process was organic. Once we confirmed the site of the Madhavendra Palace, I had to think about the many spaces within it, as well as the security concerns of exhibiting sculptures in a space with such high traffic. Of course, dimensions of doors and staircases comes into it as well, what can go where, what can get upstairs, what  can be outside for a full year and the weather conditions, what needs to be protected indoors. I didn’t think of a specific number of artists but rather types of works that I wanted. We didn’t have the time or budget to invite artists to see the palace or commission new works, so I had to go with older works that we could borrow. We confirmed the site in March and I had everything chosen by the end of August. Of course, I didn’t get everything I had hoped for and there are many wonderful spaces within the Palace that I didn’t put works into, so I think I will be able to approach it very differently, now that I am thinking about the second edition in 2018.

Also, in what other ways can art be made public? 

There are always concerns of security and safety when exhibiting works in the public. I would say Madhavendra Palace is a ‘semi-public’ site, as it is closed at night and has security guards to look out for things. But ‘public space’ now includes the internet and social media (and has always included newspapers, radio and television) so we should think about disseminating images and the stories about art as well as the actual art objects. For India, for a start, we definitely need more serious art coverage in daily newspapers. I’m a big supporter of the Start Organisation, which is promoting public art in urban India and recently mounted a large initiative in Mumbai. There are a lot of empty walls that can be used for public paintings and graphics.

How significant is the role of the arts? 

I’m not the person to be asking that as my entire life and world revolves around art. Honestly, I would ask why would someone not be interested in art? It doesn’t have to be contemporary art, as all art forms and from all times and cultures are connected. But culture in general is now the engine of the economy and art overlaps with all other disciplines and vocations. Art is about creative problem solving and critical thinking, and I think all aspects of our life and world have to be approached with more creativity.



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