Paul Neagu

(b. 1938, Bucharest - d. 2004, London)


Paul Neagu is one of the most important Romanian conceptualist artists, with a renowned contribution in the field of experimental object, installation and performance, all conceived inside a holistic approach on art. Trained as an artist in Romania, he moves to London in the early ‘70s, mixing his creative pursuits with teaching at the Royal College of Art and later at the Slade School of Art and Hornsey School of Art, where he had an outstanding influence on the next generations of artists (some of them now famous, such as Anish Kapoor). His works have been shown in prestigious venues - the Hayward Gallery in London, Great Britain, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and The New Museum, USA, the Modern Art Museum in Paris, France, the MNAC in Bucharest and the Brukenthal Museum in Sibiu, Romania. Paul Neagu features in many collections and museums, including the Tate Modern in London, as well as in public spaces from the Durham Cathedral, to 'magical landscapes' in South China. Two of his monumental works are displayed in Romanian public spaces – The Century Cross in Bucharest, since 1997, and Crucifixion in Timişoara, since 1999. Paul Neagu went on to become, in 2012, the first artist from Romania whose work is installed in a permanent public space in Great Britain - Edgerunner, unveiled in Owen's Field Park, in Islington London, where Neagu lived and worked for over 30 years.


I Realised then, that paul Neagu had no intention to produce art objects in the normal and accepted sense by those who believe in the virtues of art for the sake of art. The objects inside that room demanded to be considered as receptacles for spiritual energy. They were recipients  destined to reorganize the memory of the European race.

(Richard Demarco)



I would like to situate Paul Neagu’s creation right at the center of one of the most important modern art currents, the one that originates in the dialectic of The Mind and Material (…) We are in the Brâncuşi, Malevicvi, Gabo affiliation.

(David Brett)




Neagu’s influence was intense. It’s not a coincidence that among the British sculptors of the 80’s and the 90’s, the most prominent, were his students – Cragg, Deacon, Gormley, Houshiary, Kapoor, Langlands , Bell and Whitered.

(John McEwen)      



Graduate of Institute of Plastic Arts ‘Nicolae Grigorescu’ ( now The National University of Plastic Arts in Bucharest -UNA), Painting section


Associated Lecturer of Hornsey College of Art, UK


Teaches at Royal College of Art, London


Lecturer at Slade School of Art, London


Associated professor at Slade School of Art andRoyal College of Art, London


Solo shows (selection)


The triple exhibition event: „Paul Neagu. (R)evoluția formei”, Art Museum in Timișoara, „Obiecte regenerative”, Jecza  Gallery Timișoara and „Muchii infinite. Colecția Mircea Pinte”,  Art Museum in Cluj-Napoca, Romania


„What if He Was Right?”, UNAgaleria, through Allegra Nomad Gallery, Bucharest

„Going Tornado”, Ivan Gallery, Bucharest


Reenactment performance, „Cake Man”, Ivan Gallery, Bucharest

„artZoom Paul Neagu la Peretele Alb”, AnnArt Gallery, Bucharest


Retrospective Exhibition Paul Neagu, The Cultural Institute of Romania, London


„Abstract Gamma Hyphen”, Gallery 49 , New York


Museum Brukenthal, Sibiu


Monument for public square „Crucea Secolului”, Bucharest


„Nine Catalytic Stations 1975 – 1987”, University Gallery and Baring Wing - North Umbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


Kamakura Gallery, Kanagawa, Japan

Durham Cathedral Project: „Starhead: Great Gathering of Hyphens”, Institute of Contemporary Art, London


Tactile and palpable objects and the first Hyphens for Newcastle exhibition


„Paul Neagu and the Generative Art Group”, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, UK

„Paul Neagu”, Richard Demarco Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK


Develops the “hyphen” concept; first Hyphen for Oxford


„Tactile and Palpable Objects”, Serpentine Gallery, London


„Anthropocosmos”, Rivolta Gallery, Lausanne, France

Founds  Generative Art Group (GAG), with cu Philip Honeysuckle, Husney Belmood, Anton Paidola, Edward Larsocchi, as active members


„Cake Man” performance, Sigi Krauss Gallery, London

„Horizontal Rain” performance, Edinburgh Festival, UK

„Tactile Objects”, Compass Gallery, Glasgow, UK


„Tactile Objects and Anthropocosmos”,Sigi Krauss Gallery, London


„Palpable Art Manifesto”, Demarco Gallery, Edinburgh

Amfora Gallery, Bucharest


Group Exhibitions (selection)


‘Artistic Education in Bucharest and Romanian art after 1950’ NationalMuseum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest

„Report on the Construction of a Spaceship Module”, The New Museum, New York


„creion | cerneală | tuș”,AnnArt Gallery, Bucharest


„Artists Make Faces”, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, Plymouth, UK

„artZoom de vară_02”, AnnArt Gallery, Bucharest

„[en]counterpoint”, Pop-up Gallery The Art of Living, Bucharest


„Mica Artă Mare", AnnArt Gallery, Bucharest


„artZoom de vară_01”, AnnArt Gallery, Bucharest

„Künstler aus Rumänien im Ausland”, Galerie Emilia Suciu - konstruktiv-konkrete Kunst, Ettlingen, Germany


„Museo de las narrativas paralelas. En el marco de La Internacional”, Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona - MACBA, Barcelona, Spain

„United Enemies - The Problem of Sculpture in Britain in the 1960s and 1970s”,  Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK

„Caiet de planuri”, AnnArt Gallery, Bucharest


„Gender Check - Rollenbilder in der Kunst Osteuropas”, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig - MUMOK, Vienna


„Arhiva Demarco”,  Brukenthal Museum, Sibiu


„George Apostu, Roman Cotosman, Paul Neagu – Artiști în exil”, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest


Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana, Slovenia. The Neagu Archive is sold to Tate Modern Gallery, London


„Sculpture for a Magical Landscape”, workshop in the south of China


Out of Actions - Between Performance and Object”, Barcelona, Spain, Tokyo, Japan andVienna, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, USA


„Masa Tăcerii”, international Brâncuși workshop, Bucharest


„Time and Space”, 10 days long workshop in Anchorage, Alaska


Baroque '81”, Museum of Modern Art, Paris


„Bauzentrum”, Hamburg, Germany


Exhibitions in Prague, Paris, Zürich


Awards, scholarships


„Blue Ribbon” medal  (Konjo Hosyo) granted by the Japanese Government

1994, 1981

Award given by Arts Council of Great Britain for the international exhibitions  


Research scholarship from British Academy in Rome


Wins the „On the Strand“, sculpture competition, Charing Cross, London


Research scholarship granted by Arts Council of Great Britain for Durham and Newcastle projects


„Northern Arts” scholarship granted by  Arts Council of Great Britain


„Tolly Cobbold” Award, UK


Arts Council of Great Britain Scholarship

1978, 1973

Arts Council of Great Britain Award


Romanian Plastic Artists’ Union Award



Matei Stîrcea-Crăciun, Nine Catalytic Stations / Nouă stațiuni catalitice, Anastasia Pb, 2003

A Derridean Tornado: Paul Neagu 1965-2000, Generative Arts Trust, 2001

Paul Neagu - Epagoge - Sculpture and Drawings, Flowers East, 1993

Nine Catalytic Stations Paul Neagu 1975-1987, The Scottish Sculpture Trust, 1988, with an essay signed by Richard Demarco

Hyphen (1975-1985): A sculpture, Visual Hermeneutics, 1985

Paul Neagu: Sculpture, Third Eye Centre, 1979

Sculpture Drawing and Collaboration, LYC Press, 1979

Gradually Going Tornado: Paul Neagu and His Generative Art Group, Ceolfrith Press, 1975


Artworks in important public and private collections