Paul Neagu

Paul Neagu

b. 1938, Bucharest, Romania - d. 2004, London, UK

Considered one of the most important Romanian artists, Paul Neagu had lived and worked in London since 1970 until his death in 2004. His complex artistic practice integrates performance, sculpture, drawing, painting, video and photography, inside his original, holistic, metaphysical view on art. Tactility underlines one of Neagu's enduring aims: to refute what he perceived as the primacy of visuality within art. His ritualised performances often left a trail of sculptural objects and created immersive, sensory experiences. In 1970, by way of an exhibition in Edinburgh, he resettled in London, where his international outlook and rich, original work made him an influential teacher in art schools there for decades, with a decisive influence on a generation of sculptors, including Anthony Caro, Antony Gormley, and Anish Kapoor, among others. In 1972 he founded the Generative Art Group, which consisted of five fictitious members, each representing different parts of his psyche.

His works can be found in many public collections amongst which are The Arts Council of Great Britain, The National Museum of Arts (Romania), The Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Edinburgh), The Tate Gallery (London), The Victoria and Albert Museum (London), Kontakt Collection (Vienna) and have been recently shown in exhibitions at the Henry Moore Institute (solo show, Leeds, 2015), Vienna Biennale 2015, New Museum (group show, New York, 2014), MACBA (group show, barcelona, 2011), etc.

Paul Neagu, "The Retrospective”, Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, 2021, installation view, photo by Stefan Altenburger Photography, Zürich, Copyright: The Estate of Paul Neagu, All Rights Reserved, DACS
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Neagu is born on 22 February in Bucharest, Romania, the second son in a family of six children (elder brother Eduard, followed by younger siblings Anton, Doina, Rodica, Teodora). His parents had met while attending the local Baptist Church, prohibited later under Communism due to its connections to the United States. His father, Tudor, was a shoemaker whose craftsmanship left a strong mark on Paul, and his mother began as a housewife with an interest in and inborn talent for music. Both parents were later forced to work in factories during the Communist period. 

He attends school in Timisoara, a city in the Banat region of Western Romania, where his family moved after World War II. He graduates high school early at sixteen due to the new curriculum implemented by the Communist regime. 

A period of exploration and research: working as an electrician for a power station, then as a topographer and cartographer, making maps for the railways, while attending evening technical drawing and geometry classes and engaging in an individual study of literature, philosophy and spiritual disciplines such as yoga and theosophy. During these years he applies annually to several university programmes – philosophy, philology, engineering – in order to evade military service, but his applications all fail due to his family’s »bad dossier« , a result of being members of the Baptist Church. 

Neagu attends drawing classes with the artist and teacher Julius Podlipny in Timișoara to prepare for the admission exams at the Institutul de Arte Plastice Nicolae Grigorescu (»Nicolae Grigorescu« Fine Arts Institute) in Bucharest just a few months before the exams are to take place. His colleagues include Roman Cotoșman, Diet Sayler, artists-to-be with whom Neagu develops strong, long-lasting friendships. He passes the admissions exam to the painting programme on first attempt. 

Studies painting at Institutul de Arte Plastice Nicolae Grigorescu in Bucharest with Octav Angheluță, where he is appreciated primarily for his resourcefulness in composition rather than for his skills in working with colour. His own artistic interests, oriented towards avant-garde art and film, deviate from the school’s requirements, which were at the time confined to a traditional curriculum. He moves into an attic room on his own, where he develops his research topics and a different body of work somewhat in secrecy. In 1964 he participates as a student in the group exhibition Centenarul Institutului de Arte Plastice Nicolae Grigorescu (Centennial of the Nicolae Grigorescu Fine Arts Institute) in Bucharest, with the painting Dans țărănesc (Peasants’ Dance) at the Muzeul de Artă al Republicii Socialiste România; the same year he supports himself by working as »supervisor« for Constantin Crăciun’s mosaic project Miorița in central Bucharest and taking part in other mosaic commissions for public space. He befriends art critics and artists such as Iulian Mereuță, Șerban Nicolae and Dorel Zaica. 

Graduation with the diploma project Târgul de fete de pe Muntele Găina (Mount Găina Maids’ Market), continued as a series of variations during the following years under the title Un munte pentru fiecare om (A Mountain for Every Man), in compositions demonstrating the artist’s interest in the exploration of collective structures and pluralist perspectives, further developed in the sculpture series Moară de lumină (Light Mill) and Cardinal. He also participates in the group exhibition Expoziția de pictură și sculptură a orașului București (The City of Bucharest Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture) at Sala Dalles and shows his work for the first time with Horia Bernea in a group exhibition organized at Ateneul Tineretului, a space functioning under the aegis of the Union of Communist Youth, situated on Strada Aleea Alexandru in Bucharest. 

Neagu declines to accept the position he has been assigned as a drawing instructor at a primary school in the countryside (due to his low diploma grade) because he did not want to leave Bucharest, where he marries the actress Sibylla Oarcea. His mother-in-law provides him with further insight into Rudolf Steiner’s anthroposophy, and Neagu begins making cellular, geometric sculpture from affordable materials, such as matchboxes, cardboard, string, leather, wood. He discovers quite late the practice of Constantin Brâncuși, previously rejected by the regime, due to his rehabilitation in an official symposium in the context of the cultural opening and liberalisation from the first years of Ceaușescu’s regime. The encounter with Brâncuși leaves a strong influence on Neagu, who now considers himself more a sculptor than a painter. He befriends other fellow artists with shared interests: Pavel Ilie, Ion Bitzan, Peter and Ritzi Jacobi, and participates in a group exhibition at Sala Dalles, Bucharest. 

First street action with his installations of »palpable boxes« in the Cotroceni area of Bucharest where the artist lived at the time, documented in the 1969 film Cutiile lui Neagu (Neagu’s Boxes) by Comis Laurian. One of the largest »boxes« is Marele metronom/clepsidru tactil (The Great Tactile Metronome/Hourglass). Neagu travels to East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary on a schol- arship and he participates in international group exhibitions of Romanian art selections in Prague, Paris, Zurich; he becomes a member of the U.A.P. (Romanian Artists’ Union), the official public institution regulating and coordinating professional Romanian artistic life. Neagu meets Richard Demarco at Ion Bitzan’s studio in Bucharest on 20 September and makes such a strong impression that a studio visit is planned at his flat that very same day. 

Neagu holds his first solo show in Bucharest entitled Expoziție de obiecte (Exhibition of Objects) at Galeria Amfora on Mihai Vodă Str., together with Mihail György, documented in the film Cutiile lui Neagu (Neagu’s Boxes), where he and his wife Sibylla present tactile and palpable sculptural installations, boxes with various compartments and elements that could be opened like polyptych altars. He also participates in the Hamburg group exhibition Bauzentrum with Peter Jacobi, Ritzi Jacobi, and Ion Bitzan, and receives the invitation to exhibit at the Richard Demarco Gallery in Edinburgh in the group exhibition Four Romanian Artists, together with the same artists (group exhibition that travelled later to Aberdeen Art Gallery). This is followed by the solo show Art in a Dark Room at Richard Demarco Gallery during Edinburgh International Festival, when Neagu also writes his Palpable Art Manifesto, a plea for an art that involves all the human senses. He exhibits at the seventh Liverpool Biennial (he also appears in the ninth and tenth Biennials) and in a group exhibition at the American Center in Paris. He eventually returns to Romania after nine months of travel. 

Neagu participates in an exhibition at Europahaus, Vienna, and decides to leave Romania, while his wife Sibylla remains in Bucharest. He emigrates first to Paris, where he studies and works in ceramics, then to Scotland, where he meets Joseph Beuys, who was part of the exhibition of German artists from Düsseldorf, called Strategy: Get Arts, organized by Demarco at the Edinburgh College of Art. He participates in the group exhibitions New Directions at Richard Demarco Gallery, Edinburgh, Paul Neagu and Pavel Ilie at Birmingham University, and finally settles to London. Here, he begins the collaboration with Sigi Krauss Gallery with the Anthropocosmos and Tactile Objects solo exhibition. He begins developing what would later be known as his Generative Art Code, with the symbol-image Anthropocosmos, which overlaps the organic outline of a human body to a geometric grid, reflecting the dynamic coexistence between human subjectivity, the subconscious realm of primordial impulses and instincts (Blind Bite, the first stage of human existence symbolized by the triangle), and the ordered network of reason, Cartesian civilization and disciplined society (Horizontal Rain – the rectangle). The third part of the code applies when the structural constraint becomes too strong, and the human being frees from limits through move- ment, through jump and spin, towards the circular and transcendental effect of the tornado state of higher consciousness (Going Tornado – the circle, the sphere, the spiral). 

Bernea & Neagu, two-man show with Horia Bernea at the Compass Gallery, Glasgow, and at Sigi Krauss Gallery, London; the Cake Man Event performance at Sigi Krauss Gallery, London, on 10 May, simultaneously taking place in Bucharest in Iulian (Julian) Mereuță’s apartment, the first iteration of the participatory performance where the audience would consume waffles made by Neagu, cut and displayed as cells in the shape of the »Anthropocosmic« human being, developed later in the Blind Bite series of participatory performances with edible pieces. He participates in the Septieme Biennale de Paris (Manifestation Biennale et Internationale des Jeunes Artistes), Parc Floral, Paris, and in the group exhibition dedicated to Romanian arts during the Edinburgh International Festival, Romanian Art Today, with the visual artists Horia Bernea, Ion Bitzan, Radu Dragomirescu, Șerban Epure, Pavel Ilie, Ovidiu Maitec, Ion Pacea, Diet Sayler, Vladimir Șetran, Radu Stoica, Sigma 1 Group, dance performer Miriam Răducanu and choreographer Gheorghe (Gigi) Căciuleanu, with poetry readings by Marin Sorescu, and the play Leonce and Lena, from Bulandra Theatre directed by Liviu Ciulei and played at the Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh. As part of the exhibition Neagu performs the Horizontal Rain event at Greyfriars Kirkyard and Covenanters Prison, Edinburgh and the basement of Richard Demarco Gallery in Melville Crescent, documented in a number of black and white photographs taken by George Oliver. In the performance he wears a jumpsuit with rectangular pockets and walks on stilts. Another version of the performance was recorded on 16mm film, taking place outside of St Mary’s Cathedral and an alleyway near the RDG; after the festival ends, in September, he applies for political asylum in the UK. 

Neagu establishes his Generative Art Group (GAG), made of Neagu and four fictional members, the painters Husny Belmood, Edward Larsocchi, the designer Philip Honeysuckle, and the poet Anton Paidola, to further demonstrate his pluralistic approach to making art. He continues developing his Anthropocosmos conceptual series of works in prints and drawings, while he deepens his interest in the spiritual dimension of art, studying the ideas of Peter D. Ouspensky and George Gurdjieff, C.G. Jung, Arthur Koestler, George Kubler, Gilbert Durand. Solo shows: Anthropocosmos at Galerie Rivolta, Lausanne; Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool; artistic residence at Centre Artistique de Rencontres lnternationales in Nice; Waffle Machine lecture at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford; Fish’s Net performance, Island of lnchcolm, Scotland; Generative Art Forms lecture at Queen’s University, Belfast. He from his wife Sibylla Oarcea. 

He begins teaching as Associated Lecturer, Hornsey College of Art, Alexandra Palace studios, his students included the artist Anish Kapoor; has a solo show, Drawings and Objects, at the Scottish Society of Arts, Royal Academy, Edinburgh, and an Horizontal Rain performance in Oxford. He presents ceramic sculptures created at the Ceramic Workshop in Edinburgh (founded and coordinated by Merilyn Smith) in the Earth Images group show at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art during the Edinburgh Festival and a solo room of interactive Tactile and Palpable Objects at Serpentine Sculpture 73, a group exhibition at Serpentine Gallery that receives critical acclaim. He participates in group exhibitions at Gallery Impact, Lausanne; Garage Gallery, London; British International Drawing Biennale, Teesside; artistic residence at the Foundation M. Karolyi, Vence, France. 

Live performance Going Tornado, at the Grampian TV Studio, Aberdeen, Scotland, introduced by Richard Demarco, on 18 November; the solo show P. Honeysuckle at Saltire Society, Edinburgh; Going Tornado performance event at Forrest Hill Poorhouse during the Edinburgh International Festival, on 1 August; takes part in the group exhibition Earth Images, Whitechapel Gallery, London; Neagu is awarded the Arts Council of Great Britain Prize for the Generative Art Group, and he publishes the Generative Art Group artist book of 500 copies attesting and »documenting« the activity of the fictional group – revealed as fictional to the Art Council only two years later; the first sketches and drawings for the Subject Generator/Hyphen conceptual sculpture. 

Major solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford: Paul Neagu and his Generative Art Group, with the Horizontal Seed performance; there he presents the first Hyphen, entitled The Subject Generator, a three-legged sculpture constructed in wood and steel with a glass table; solo shows at Compass Gallery, Glasgow; Sunderland Arts Centre (with the publishing of the Gradually Going Tornado! catalogue at Ceolfrith Press); Generative Art Group (Paul Neagu) at Saltire Society, Edinburgh; Going Tornado performance at Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, on 22 February. He participates in the group exhibitions The Condition of Sculpture, Hayward Gallery, London; Incontro Internazionale d’Arte, Rome; Galleria del Cavallino, Venice; and receives an Arts Council of Great Britain scholarship. Neagu hosts several Blind Bite events in his studio, in which blindfolded participants – including students of his from Hornsey College of Art, such as Anish Kapoor, Matthew Perry and Alison Rowley – would touch and taste various edible elements (the 1975 version in his studio-gallery on Shaftesbury Avenue, London, is filmed in the eponymous video work on 19 December). 

Gradually Going Tornado performance by Paul Neagu and his Generative Art Group, on 20 March at Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol, one of the most complex versions of the Going Tornado series of performances, unique in using of some of his students as actual performers to enact GAG’s fictional members (Nina Horvitch as Husny Belmond, Perry Robinson as Philip Honeysuckle, Anish Kapoor as Edward Larsocchi and Matthew Perry as Anton Paidola); solo shows at Leeds Polytechnic Gallery; Thumb Gallery, London; Richard Demarco Gallery, Edinburgh (alongside Horia Bernea); December solo show Hyphen-Ramp, in one of the rooms at the Serpentine Gallery, London, with the performance, Hyphen-Ramp: 588 Riots at the Serpentine, together with Perry Robinson, one of his last public performances; participates in the group exhibition Edinburgh Arts Europe at Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh; Neagu becomes an associate professor at the Royal College of Art, London, where his students include Anthony Gormley, while also part time teaching at Chelsea School of Art; he is awarded the Tolly Cobbold Prize, and travels for the first time to Greece, where he performs the Mykonos Ramp action; he exhibits works by Joseph Beuys in the solo show Bits and Pieces, and works from the Deal (Hill) series by Horia Bernea, at the Generative Art Gallery, Paul Neagu’s personal gallery project between 1975 and 1976 in the space of his additional studio on Shaftesbury Avenue, London; Blind Bite 1976 version in his studio on Highbury New Park, London, among the participants Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Nina Horvitch, Anish Kapoor, Paul Overy. 

Neagu is granted full British citizenship; solo show at Cavallino Gallery, Venice, with the last public performance, The Sublimation of the Flour, on 16 April, comprising the three stages of Blind Bite, Horizontal Rain and Going Tornado; after this, Neagu gives up live or filmed performance, and focuses on sculptural conceptual installations; he participates in the Queen Elizabeth Silver Jubilee Exhibition of British Sculpture, an outdoor exhibition at Battersea Park, London, together with Anthony Caro, Tony Cragg, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, and in a group exhibition at AIR Gallery, London. 

Generative Art solo show, Newcastle Polytechnic Gallery; Arts Council of Great Britain Award; first trip to the USA for a group exhibition at the Drawing Centre, New York; Edinburgh Arts ’77 Exhibition (Part Two), group exhibition, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh; first trip to Romania after eight years, travelling to Bucharest and Timișoara. 

Paramount Sculpture (Hyphen Installation) solo shows at ICA, London, and Third Eye Centre, Glasgow, where he presents the first Open Fusions, star-shaped flat sculptures in wood and soft metal; Hyphen and Generative Art, first solo show in America at Elise Meyer Inc. Gallery, New York; group exhibitions in the UK: British Art Show, Sheffield, Newcastle, Bristol; and Paul Neagu & David Nash: Sculpture, Drawing, and Collaboration, LYC Museum, Cumbria; Neagu embarks on a project to erect a large Starhead steel sculpture (a large star shape on legs), inspired by the decoration on the columns of the Durham Cathedral, on a hill near Kielder Dam near Northumberland; the project eventually proves unsuccessful due to the its scale and placement. 

Awarded the Northern Arts Visual Arts Fellowship of the Arts Council of Great Britain for his activity at Durham and Newcastle universities; solo shows: Premises, Norwich Arts Centre, with drawings and outdoor sculpture; Constellations, Project Gallery, Dublin; Hyphen Installation at Liverpool Academy of Art; Work in Progress, DLI Museum, Durham, where he receives the visit of Horia Bernea; participates in the group exhibition Mazes, Rochdale Art Gallery, Rochdale, UK. 

Solo exhibitions: Writhing Space, Ceolfrith Gallery, Sunderland, UK; Tactile Objects, Galerie Rivolta, Lausanne; group exhibitions: Baroques ’81, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Human Condition, Arts Council Touring Show; first visit to Japan, where he will exhibit extensively in the following two decades; British Council grant for exhibitions abroad (1981–84); his first published monograph, authored by the art and architecture historian Paul Overy, Paul Neagu: A Generative Context 1965–1981. 

Writhing Space, solo show, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, UK; group exhibitions: British Sculpture in the 20th Century (part 2), Whitechapel Gallery, London; (Aspects of) British Art Today, collective exhibition touring in Tochigi, Osaka, Sapporo and at the Fukuaka Prefectural Museum, Japan; visiting professor at Concordia University, Montreal, until 1983, where he creates the first installation from the series of steel and bronze balls later titled Unnamed, starting from the unit of the sphere, multiplied in various sequences and arrangements, inspired by an image of droplets of dew on a spider’s web captured in photography by Neagu; one week lecturing at the Fine Art Department, British Columbia University, Vancouver; second trip to Romania after immigrating to the UK. 

Open Monolith solo exhibition at Liverpool University; Hyphens solo shows at Gallery K, Tokyo; Kamakura Gallery, Tokyo; and Olga Korper Gallery, Toronto; participates in the group exhibition Eastern Arts Third National Exhibition, Yorkshire, UK. 

Solo shows: Time and Space, Visual Art Centre, Anchorage, Alaska; Open Monolith, Curwen Gallery, London; Rivolta Gallery, Lausanne; participates in the Art and the Human Environment: International Conference at Edinburgh College of Art; becomes a part time lecturer at Slade School of Art (until 1990), while still continuing as a lecturer at Chelsea School of Art; trip to Romania during the autumn, spending time both in Transylvania and Bucharest where he meets friends and acquaintances from the artistic community, such as Horia and Margareta Bernea, Vasile Gorduz, Silvia Radu, Simona Runcan, Anca and Mihai Oroveanu, Sorin Costina. 

Catalytic Sculpture, solo show, London Business School; participates in the group exhibition Sculptor’s Drawings, Scottish Arts Council, Edinburgh; British Museum commission for a limited edition of a bronze medal, Ten Years of Hyphen. 

Catalytic Sculpture: Court System, solo show at Gallery K, Tokyo, Japan, his third solo show in Japan, after the successful first two from 1983, which led to acquisitions of Hyphens sculptures by the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, and the Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts; another visit in Romania during the Autumn when he photographs rural vernacular architecture – peasant houses, village churches – in the regions of Hunedoara and Arad (Transylvania). 

Wins the »Sculpture on the Strand« competition in London for the Charing Cross Station, with a plan for a large steel and Perspex Triple Starhead sculpture, later cancelled by the Westminster City Council due to insufficient funds, although Neagu involved also his own funds in order to produce the sculpture; his seminal Nine Catalytic Stations solo show at Serpentine Gallery, London, the culmination of the catalytic system developed over the past twelve years, derived from the Hyphen, with all its nine components exhibited together: Hyphen, Double Hyphen, Open Monolith, Fish, Starhead, Wake, Fish Over Gate (FOG), A-Cross, Edge Runner; Nine Catalytic Stations, outdoor catalytic installation at the Newcastle Polytechnic Gallery; solo show In-formings, Curwen Gallery, London; solo show at Smith’s Gallery in Covent Garden, London. 

Visit to Yugoslavia with a Demarco Group series of exhibitions, stopping in Sarajevo, Zagreb, Belgrade and Ljubljana; UK solo shows: Nine Catalytic Stations, Smith Art Gallery, Sterling; Artsite Gallery, Bath; Nine Catalytic Stations, Richard Demarco Gallery, Edinburgh; Nine Catalytic Stations, outdoor installation, Traquair House, Peeblesshire, Scotland; Drawing. Painting. Sculpture, Narrow Water Gallery & Narrow Water Castle, Warrenpoint, Ireland; prize for a monument project for Kingston- upon-Thames; Neagu purchases a house in Sumène, France, where he will retreat the following year due to illness; visits the Benedictine monastery in Vaals in the Netherlands, where he admires the spaces designed by the architect and monk Hans van der Laan; travels again to Romania, to Bucharest and Timișoara where he attends his mother’s funeral. 

Neagu develops kidney disease, and undergoes nine months of dialysis, until his sister Rodica donates him a kidney; participation in the group exhibition: 4 on Tour, Scottish Tour of Sculpture: A Spiritual Dimension, Peterborough, UK; the fall of the Communist regime in Romania, after which Neagu will travel even more frequently to the country. 

Solo shows: Nine Catalytic Stations, The Minories Gallery, Colchester, UK; Paintings, Gallery K, Tokyo; Neagu starts reconnecting to the Romanian art world milieu, where he is »rediscovered« through a series of exhibitions: the first one is organized by Mihai Oroveanu, the future founder of the Muzeul Național de Artă Contemporană (National Museum of Contemporary Art) at Artexpo in Bucharest, presenting works from the private collections of the artist’s Romanian friends and supporters (paintings from his diploma project, palpable objects, Anthropocosmos drawings), also shown at the Museum of Art in Timișoara.

He is awarded the Sergant Fellowship at the British School in Rome, where he continues to develop the Unnamed series of works; Neagu has an extensive solo show organized by his childhood friend, the poet Cristian Simionescu, Desene și documente 1970–1990 (Drawings and Documents 1970–1990) at the Art Museum in Bârlad, Romania, where he exhibits drawings from the Anthropocosmos series, the Ten Right Angles (New Hyphens), as well as some smaller-scale Hyphens, followed by an important donation of works to the museum; Neagu has a tour of solo shows throughout Romania, in Bacău, Cluj-Napoca, Bistrița (1992); takes part in the group show Creation and European Synchronism, Timișoara; commission for the Crucea secolului (Century Cross) public art monument, Bucharest; although he is acknowledged and well-received by the Romanian art world, he frequently expresses critical opinions on the condition of Romanian art in the early 1990s, a period of reconfigurations from the state-owned and controlled art institutions towards an increasingly polarized artistic environment. 

Solo exhibitions: Catalytic Sculpture, Emilia Suciu Galerie, Karlsruhe, Germany; Drawings, British School, Rome; group exhibitions: Constructive Art in Europe, Emilia Suciu Galerie, Karlsruhe, Germany; A Blast from the Past, Colchester, UK; East European Art, Musée Municipal de Saint-Cloud, France. 

Solo exhibitions: Catalytic Sculpture, The Economist Building, London; Epagoge, Flowers East Gallery, London; group exhibitions: the outdoor Chelsea Harbour Sculpture ’93, London, where he presents the Triple Starhead; Royal Academy Summer Show, London; associate professor at the Royal College of Art and Slade School of Art, London. 

British Council award for exhibitions abroad; solo shows: Mini-retrospectivă (Small Retrospective) at Brukenthal Museum, Sibiu, Romania; Punte nouă (New Hyphen), Galeria First, Timișoara, Romania; the Triple Starhead sculpture from the »Sculpture on the Strand« cancelled commission is installed at the Cass Sculpture Foundation before being permanently installed in Milton Keynes in 2001; the 1994–95 Neagu extended interview with the art historian Mel Gooding is recorded in Artists Lives, National Life Stories (British Library, Sound and Moving Image). 

Neagu participates in the group exhibition Brâncuși’s Heritage in Romania, the Romanian Pavilion for the Venice Biennale, organized by Dan Hăulică and Coriolan Babeți, alongside the Romanian artists: George Apostu, Ștefan Bertalan, Mihai Buculei, Maria Cocea, Roman Cotoșman, Doru Covrig, Darie Dup, Ovidiu Maitec, Ion Nicodim, Neculai Păduraru, Constantin Popovici, Mircea Roman, Napoleon Tiron, Aurel Vlad, Marian Zidaru; he also coordinates the Masa tăcerii (Table of Silence) International Brâncuşi symposium, Bucharest, with the participants Howard Ben Tre (USA), Christine Boshier, William Brotherson, John Gibbons and Mel Gooding (UK), Roger Cognet and Daniel Pontoreau (France), Leo Zogmayer (Austria), Peter Jacobi (Germany), Napoleon Tiron, Mihai Buculei and Vasile Gorduz (Romania); solo exhibitions: Sacramentalia: Scultura, una cosa mentale, Iorga House, during the Venice Biennale; Ten Right Angles – Ten Right Angels, Centrul Cultural Maghiar (Hungarian Cultural Centre), Bucharest; Unanimity, Romani Alba Gallery, Edinburgh; Paul Neagu at Tochigi, Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts, Japan, with an important donation of works to the museum; visiting professorships at Caen, Scarborough, Coventry, Winchester; Krasner-Pollock Foundation award, USA; The Generative Art Trust is founded by Neagu in London, together with Sherban Cantacuzino, Iolanda Costide and Henry Lydiate, with the »main purpose to promote and advance education in the arts, particularly the concept of Generative Arts«. 

Large donation of over 140 works to the Muzeul Național de Artă al României (Național Museum of Art of Romania), Bucharest, with a jointly published catalogue (Paul Neagu: desen – gravură – sculptură. Bucharest: Muzeul Național de Artă al României, 1996), and a solo exhibition at the museum, in 1997; he participates in the group exhibition Sculpture at Goodwood, RIBA, London; he receives the Konjo Hosyo (Blue Ribbon) medal, awarded by the Japanese government; British Council award for exhibitions abroad; Reorganisation of Nothing catalogue published by The Generative Art Trust, London, with the Unnamed series of installations of steel and bronze balls. 

Crucea secolului (The Century Cross) public art monument is inaugurated on Charles de Gaulle Square, moved from 2011 to the Beijing Boulevard in the Herăstrau Park area, Bucharest; solo shows: Paul Neagu: O donație: Desen – gravură – sculptură 1968–1995, Muzeul Național de Artă al României, Bucharest; Modern Energy Painting, Galeria Muzeului Literaturii Române (Gallery of the Museum of Romanian Literature), Bucharest; group exhibition Equation, Demarco European Art Foundation, Edinburgh; he is granted The Leverhulme Trust research award. 

Neagu participates in the seminal group exhibitions: Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object, 1949–1979, MOCA, Los Angeles, and MAK Museum, Vienna, the first major global overview on the early post-war history of performance, and Body and the East, Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana, Slovenia, an extensive survey of »body art« from Eastern Europe. He marries Monica Omescu who he will divorce three years later; he intends to spend even more time in Romania after buying a country house in the village Valea lui Enache (Argeș County). 

The public art monument Crucificarea (Crucifixion) is inaugurated at Victoriei Square in Timișoara in commemoration of the martyrs of the 1989 Revolution; Timișoara played a key role in the out- break of the 1989 Revolution, the anti-Communist protests taking place here in mid-December were met by strong and brutal military reaction; Sculpture for a Magical Landscape workshop in Guilin, Southern China, where he creates a large-scale Vertical/Endlessedge Hyphen from mild welded steel; participates in the group exhibition: Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin 1950s–1980s, Queens Museum of Art, New York. 

Neagu starts envisioning a museum of contemporary art in Timișoara, Romania, entitled Utopian Museum – he has been creating architectural drawings for an Active Art Museum since the late 1970s. Whirlblast for Brancusi, solo show at the Romanian Cultural Center in New York; group exhibitions: Constructive Art in Europe at the Threshold of the third Millennium, Emilia Suciu Galerie, Ettlingen, Germany; Galerie Hors Lieux, Strasbourg; Helter Skelter, Gallery | 49, New York; Paper Abstractions, Gallery | 49, New York. The Neagu archive is purchased by Tate; the Generative Art Trust publishes the catalogue A Derridean Tornado: Paul Neagu 1965–2000. 

Neagu suffers a stroke in late August, from which he will subsequently partially recover, after having his ability to speak in Romanian and English strongly affected. Towards the end of the year he is also diagnosed with cancer and undergoes chemotherapy treatment. 

Abstract – New-Hyphen, solo show, Timișoara Art Museum; small early work retrospective of the donated work at Tate Britain, London; participates in the Summer Group Show, Gallery | 49, New York; his second monograph, Nouă stațiuni catalitice (Nine Catalytic Stations) by Matei Stîrcea-Crăciun, a writer and researcher with a background in anthropology, is published by Fundația Anastasia (Anastasia Foundation), Bucharest. 

Abstract Gamma Hyphen, solo show at Gallery | 49, 2004 New York. 

Neagu dies in London on 16 June. 

Posthumous exhibitions (selection): 

2004 Two-person show Horia Bernea și Paul Neagu: Experiențe timpurii (Horia Bernea and Paul Neagu: Early Works), MNAC (Muzeul Național de Artă Contemporană), Bucharest. 

2005 Group exhibition: De la Moore la Hirst – 60 de ani de sculptură britanică (From Moore to Hirst: Sixty Years of British Sculpture), MNAR (Muzeul Național de Artă al României), Bucharest. 

2007 Group exhibitions: Dincolo de frontiere: Artiști români și scoțieni în Arhiva Richard Demarco (Beyond Frontiers: Romanian and Scottish Artists in the Richard Demarco Archive), at Galeria de Artă Contemporană (The Contemporary Art Gallery) of The National Brukenthal Museum, Sibiu, Romania; Drawing on Sculpture: Graphic Interventions on the Photographic Surface, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK. 

2009 Paul Neagu retrospective exhibition at Institutul Cultural Român (Romanian Cultural Institute), London; Group exhibitions: Subversive Practices – Art under Conditions of Political Repression 60s – 80s / South America / Europe, WKV – Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart; Gender Check, MUMOK, Vienna; Le Modernisme Roumain, Tajan, Paris. 

2011 Group exhibitions: The Present and Presence (a selection of works from the Arteast 2000+ collection and the Moderna galerija national collection), Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana, Slovenia; Museo de las narrativas paralelas: En el marco de La Internacional (Museum of Parallel Narratives. In the framework of L’Internationale), MACBA, Barcelona. 

2011-12 Group exhibition: United Enemies – The Problem of Sculpture in Britain in the 1960s and 1970s, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK. 

2012 Cake Man, first solo show at Ivan Gallery, Bucharest, with the re-enactment of the 1971 performance; permanent Edgerunner public sculpture placed in Owen’s Fields Park, Islington, London. 

2013 Two-person show Paul Neagu & Geta Brătescu, Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin; group exhibition: Artists Make Faces, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, Plymouth, UK. 

2014 Solo show Going Tornado, Ivan Gallery, Bucharest; group exhibition Report on the Construction of a Spaceship Module, New Museum, New York. 

2014-15 (R)evoluția formei ([R]evolution of Form), triple exhibition event by Fundația Interart Triade (Interart Triade Foundation); Muchii infinite: Colecţia Mircea Pinte (Endless Edges: The Mircea Pinte Collection), The Art Museum, Cluj-Napoca, Romania; Paul Neagu: Obiecte regenerative – Lucrări din colecţiile Ovidiu Şandor, dr. Sorin Costina, familia Neagu (Paul Neagu: Regenerative Objects – Works from the Ovidiu Șandor, Dr. Sorin Costina, and the Neagu Family Collections), Jecza Gallery, Timișoara; Paul Neagu. Opera ca o hermeneutică vizuală – Lucrări din colecţiile dr. Sorin Costina, Muzeul de Artă Timişoara, familia Neagu (Paul Neagu: The Oeuvre as Visual Hermeneutics – Works from the Dr. Sorin Costina Collection, Art Museum Timișoara, and the Neagu Family Collection), The Art Museum, Timișoara, Romania. 

2015 Solo shows: Palpable Sculpture, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK; Blind Bite, Ivan Gallery, Bucharest; group exhibitions: Mapping Bucharest: Art, Memory, and Revolution 1916–2016, MAK Vienna, Vienna Biennale 2015; Thirty One, National Gallery of Kosovo; Appearance and Essence, the first edition of Timișoara Art Encounters, Timișoara, Romania. 

2016 Group exhibition Low-Budget Utopias: Exhibition from the Collection, Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana, Slovenia. 

2016 Group exhibitions: My Sweet Little Lamb (works / from the Kontakt Art Collection), Gallery Nova, 17 Zagreb; Elizabeth Price Curates, The Whitworth, University of Manchester, Manchester, and De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea, UK. 

2017 Group exhibitions: Rodin. L’exposition du centenaire, Grand Palais, Paris; Situații și concepte (Situations and Concepts), Salonul de proiecte, Bucharest; Dincolo de frontiera concept (Beyond the Concept Frontier), by Salonul de proiecte, part of the 2nd Art Encounters Biennial, Timișoara, Romania; Everything we see could also be otherwise (My sweet little lamb), The Showroom, London; Selection from the Collections Arteast 2000+ and National Collections, Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana, Slovenia. 

2018 Group exhibition Double Heads Matches (A selection of contemporary artworks from four Romanian private collections), New Budapest Gallery, Budapest. 

2019 Anthropocosmos, solo show, Parts Project, The Hague; group exhibitions: Partea asta care parcă are nevoie să iasă printr-un loc al corpului meu (This Part That Seemingly Needs to Get Out Through a Place in My Body), Salonul de proiecte, Bucharest; Displacement and Togetherness, Cultuurcentrum Strombeek Grimbergen, part of the Europalia Arts Festival Romania, curated by Salonul de proiecte; Collective Exhibition for a Single Body – The Private Score – Vienna 2019, Haus Wittgenstein, Vienna; Ex-East: Past and Recent Stories of the Romanian Avant-Garde, Espace Niemeyer, Paris. 

2019-20 Solo presentation Paul Neagu. Room 6 in Performer and Participant, Tate Modern, London; group exhibitions: 24 Argumente: conexiuni timpurii în neo-avangarda românească 1969–1971 (24 Arguments. Early Encounters in Romanian Neo-Avant-Garde 1969–71), MNAR (The National Museum of Art of Romania), Bucharest; Partea asta care parcă are nevoie să iasă printr-un loc al corpului meu (This Part That Seemingly Needs to Get Out Through a Place in My Body), Spike Berlin, curated by Salonul de proiecte. 

2021 Paul Neagu: The Retrospective, Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, the first major international retro- spective; solo show at Trieste Contemporanea, Trieste, Italy; group exhibitions: What Do We Want to Keep? Works from the Collection, Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein; The Geometry of Language, The Gallery of De Montfort University Leicester; Understudies: I, Myself Will Exhibit Nothing, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin. 

2022-23 The exhibition Paul Neagu: The Retrospective travelled to Neue Galerie Graz, Universalmuseum Joanneum, Austria, and Muzeul de Artă, Timișoara, Romania. 

Paul Neagu’s works can be found in many private collections in Romania, UK, USA, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, and in the following public collections: 

The Arts Council of Great Britain 
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh 
Tate London 
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Henry Moore Institute, Leeds
Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle
Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts de Lausanne 
Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts, Japan 
Philadelphia Museum of Art 
Muzeul Național de Artă al României, Bucharest 
Muzeul Național de Artă Contemporană, Bucharest 
Muzeul Vasile Pârvan, Bârlad, Romania
Muzeul de Artă Vizuală Galați, Romania 
Muzeul de Artă, Timișoara, Romania 
Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana
Art Vectors Collections, Vienna 
Kontakt Collection, Vienna 
Telekom Collection, Bonn 
Muzeum Współczene Wrocław (Wrocław Contemporary Museum)
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz 

Chronology prepared by Diana Ursan, as published in the Paul Neagu. The Monograph, edited by Magda Radu and Georg Schölhammer, JRP | Editions, 2023, pp. 372-87