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Tue, 25 Jun


Romanian Cultural Institute

arch-NEAGU. Paul Neagu & Architecture

Exhibition | Talk

arch-NEAGU. Paul Neagu & Architecture
arch-NEAGU. Paul Neagu & Architecture

Time & Location

25 Jun 2024, 19:00 – 07 Jul 2024, 17:00

Romanian Cultural Institute, 1 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PH, UK

About the event

The Romanian Embassy and the Romanian Cultural Institute in London, together with The Paul Neagu Estate (UK) cordially invite you to the Private View of an exhibition highlighting Paul Neagu’s incursions in architecture, which he based on some of his artistic concepts, a few developed already early in his career, even before leaving Romania and settling in the UK in 1971. This exhibition is curated by architect Anca Mihalache.

The Private View will take place on 25 June at 7 PM at the Romanian Cultural Institute at 1 Belgrave Square and will be opened by H.E. Laura Popescu, Ambassador of Romania and Iolanda Costide and Paul Ciucur, trustees of TPNE(UK). The special guest of the evening is esteemed British architecture critic Hugh Pearman, now president of the 20th Century Society, who will talk to us about the artist's striking ‘architectural essays’ in a lecture entitled ‘Paul Neagu: Defining Space’. Pearman met Paul Neagu in the ‘70s and has written about him in Building Design and The Sunday Times (you will find press cuttings of these articles in the exhibition).

The British-Romanian artist has been thrust again into the eye of the public, with a Retrospective that was opened at the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein (KML) in Vaduz in 2021, then travelled in 2022 to the Neue Galerie/BRUSEUM and had its final showing in 2023 at MNART, as part of TM23 - Timisoara, European Capital of Culture. Only two years earlier, in 2019, Tate Modern included Paul Neagu in its group display Performer & Participant, alongside artists like Lygia Clark and Helio Oiticica, which lasted for over three years.

An extensive Monograph followed – ‘Paul Neagu – The Monograph’, edited by two of the curators of the Retrospective – Magda Radu and Georg Schoellhammer – also launched during TM23, in February 2023, at MNART. The Monograph includes 11 essays written by prestigious international art critics and historians, on different aspects of his oeuvre, but not his forays in architecture. We are proud to bring original material into the public eye.

The exhibition can be visited Monday to Sunday from 11 AM to 5 PM until 7 July. The exhibition is hosted by the "Constantin Brâncuși" Gallery of the Romanian Cultural Institute. 

“Sculpture should be appreciated by all five senses.”  Paul Neagu (b. 1938 Bucharest/Romania – d. 2004 London/UK) was a British-Romanian sculptor, painter, performance artist, teacher and poet. He made a crucial contribution to the development of conceptual art in Britain and, after 1990, in Romania as well. As a teacher, he had a great impact on those who later became some of Britain’s leading sculptors, including Tony Cragg, Antony Gormley and Anish Kapoor. Paul Neagu grew up in Timișoara, Romania, and he graduated from The Academy of Fine Arts in Bucharest in 1963. In 1969, Neagu travelled to the UK for the very first time, after an invitation to Edinburgh from gallerist and impresario Richard Demarco. In the spring of 1970, the artist left Romania, travelling to Paris and Edinburgh and then London, which became his home for the next thirty-four years. In 1972 he founded the Generative Art Group, which consisted of himself plus four other fictitious members, each representing different parts of his psyche: poet, philosopher, painter, and designer. The artist’s diverse artistic practices ranged from performance, body art and installation, to sculpture, drawing, painting, printmaking and poetry. Anthropocosmos, his Catalytic Stations, of which the Hyphen, the most complex, the performances Blind BiteHorizontal Rain and Going Tornado are some of his most well-known central topics.

Paul Neagu’s work has been exhibited at the Paris Biennale, the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein; at Modern Art Oxford, the Whitechapel, the Hayward and the Serpentine Galleries, the Institute for Contemporary Art and the Tate in London; at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, Gallery K in Tokyo and Moderna Galerija in Ljubljana, among many international venues. His works can be found in many public collections such as The Arts Council Collection (London), The Henry Moore Foundation (Leeds). The National Museum of Art (Bucharest), The Museum of Contemporary Art (Tokyo), The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Edinburgh), The Tate (London), The Victoria and Albert Museum (London), the Kontakt Collection (Vienna) and Art Collection Telekom (Bonn). Paul Neagu was a truly universal artist, a sophisticated intellectual and the creator of a unique artistic vocabulary.

Paul Neagu designated three executors and trustees for his property in Romania (his brother Anton Neagu, his nephew Paul Ciucur and his niece Andreea Stulik) and three executors and trustees for his “remaining property wherever in the world” – Sherban Cantacuzino (b. 1928 – d. 2018), Iolanda Costide and Henry Lydiate. Property includes the artistic output, but also copyright and all other intellectual and moral rights worldwide. The Trust of The Paul Neagu Estate (UK) was set up by the worldwide original Trustees. The Trust was set up to disseminate and help the knowledge and understanding of Paul Neagu‘s artistic work and concepts. The current Trustees of TPNE (UK) are Iolanda Costide and Paul Ciucur.

The exhibition is organised with the support of Ocavia Developments Ltd.

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