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)      

Education

1965

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

1973

Associated Lecturer of Hornsey College of Art, UK

1975-1976

Teaches at Royal College of Art, London

1984-1990

Lecturer at Slade School of Art, London

1993

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

 

Solo shows (selection)

2014-2015

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

2014

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

„Going Tornado”, Ivan Gallery, Bucharest

2012

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

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

2009

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

2004

„Abstract Gamma Hyphen”, Gallery 49 , New York

1994

Museum Brukenthal, Sibiu

1991

Monument for public square „Crucea Secolului”, Bucharest

1988

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

1983

Kamakura Gallery, Kanagawa, Japan
1979

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

1978

Tactile and palpable objects and the first Hyphens for Newcastle exhibition

1976

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

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

1975-1976

Develops the “hyphen” concept; first Hyphen for Oxford

1973

„Tactile and Palpable Objects”, Serpentine Gallery, London

1972

„Anthropocosmos”, Rivolta Gallery, Lausanne, France

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

1971

„Cake Man” performance, Sigi Krauss Gallery, London

„Horizontal Rain” performance, Edinburgh Festival, UK

„Tactile Objects”, Compass Gallery, Glasgow, UK

1970

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

1969

„Palpable Art Manifesto”, Demarco Gallery, Edinburgh

Amfora Gallery, Bucharest

 

Group Exhibitions (selection)

2014

‘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

2013-2014

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

2013

„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

2012-2013

„Mica Artă Mare", AnnArt Gallery, Bucharest

2012

„artZoom de vară_01”, AnnArt Gallery, Bucharest

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

2011

„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

2009

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

2007

„Arhiva Demarco”,  Brukenthal Museum, Sibiu

2006

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

2000

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

1999

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

1997

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

1995

„Masa Tăcerii”, international Brâncuși workshop, Bucharest

1984-1985

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

1981

Baroque '81”, Museum of Modern Art, Paris

1969

„Bauzentrum”, Hamburg, Germany

1968

Exhibitions in Prague, Paris, Zürich

 

Awards, scholarships

1996

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

1994, 1981

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

1991

Research scholarship from British Academy in Rome

1987

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

1980

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

1979-1981

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

1976

„Tolly Cobbold” Award, UK

1974

Arts Council of Great Britain Scholarship

1978, 1973

Arts Council of Great Britain Award

1969

Romanian Plastic Artists’ Union Award

 

Bibliography

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