Paul Neagu's Biography

Biographical Facts

1938 Born in Bucharest as the second son of the six children of Tudor and Rosalia Neagu: Eduard, Paul, Anton, Doina, Rodica, Teodora

The 40's and 50's
1947-56 Post-war poverty. Stalinism,Russian presence, High school with Russian language study, Average school archivement
1956-59 Baccalaureate, Railway employment: clerical, surveying cartography, evening art classes. Evening technical drawing classes, draftsman, Electrician, Timisoara, Philosophy study for university entrance. Admission exams for several faculties: philology, engineering, physical education, philosophy.

The 60's
1960-63 Admitted to Beaux Arts Academy (later Nicolae Grigorescu Art Institute), Bucharest. Student in Painting Department. Clandestine attempts at modern abstract art. Cubism and Kineticism.
1964-65 Final Year painting student. Diploma work Gaina Mountain Fair (series of variations continued after 1965)
1966-67 Re-worked A Mountain for Every Man. Defined some geometric forms. First model for monumental structures inspired by the folklore and diploma field-work; The Llight Mills and Cardinal. Married Sibyla Oancea, actress, Birlad Theatre
1968 Major Altar or Big Metronome. Sandglass and Light Mill, Models with objects, tactile structures, quasi -geometrical paintings and drawings
1969 35+ tactile/palpable objects with open/shut doors in various materials. Eclecticism, pluralism,materials - searches using the tradition of perfomance and ritual. Following Bauzentrum Group Exhibition in Hamburg - with Peter Iacobi, Ritzi Iacobi and Bitzan - invited to Demarco Galery, Edinburgh, Scotland.Palpable Art Manifesto - Edinburgh. Developed idea of Anthropocosmos - human forms composed from geometric cells using complex technical processes. Combined craft and mechanical methods. Research and Exhibiton' prize awarded by Union of Visual Artists, vetoed by communist authorities

The 70's
1970 Research into respresentation and deconstruction. In spring, left Romania. Emigration to France, then to Scotland. Egyptian Picnic: domestic objects/mummified tactiles. New objects made in Scotland, then in London with Sigi Krauss Workshop Gallery. Experiments with ceramics in Paris. Permanent move to London.
1971 Associated with the Sigi Krauss Gallery, London. Exhibitions, installations and performances.Period of increased personal and artistic confidence. Objects made from multiple materials.Preoccupiedwith box constructed human forms. Developed Anthropocosmos
1972 Generative Art Group' (GAG) secretly established with fictiousmembers: Philip Honeysuckle, Husney Belmood, Anton Paidola, Edward Larsocchi, Paul Neagu. Enamel painting (GAG). Drawings on cloth. Flexibility and fluctuations. Dialogue in exhibitions and presentations.
1973 First contact as Associated Lecturer, Hornsey College of Art. Anthropocosmos, copper engravings. Ceramic works.
1974 First draft of the Table with curved legs. Performance: Going Tornado. The Metronome. Tao Te Chi as dance, dervishes, devided man and reogranisaed man. Anthropocosmos as a whirlpool. The movementof 'boxes'. The idea of 'hyphen' as a subject generator. Drawings. Dynamic rituals. Gradually Going Tornado
1975-76 Progressed Man-Cosmos/Anthropocosmos ideas. Map painting with pulsating centres. Going Tornado, 3D installation with public participation; Mutants with scores of tactile objects. Part time teaching, Hornsey College of Art. Seeks governing object in drawings and paintings. Ritual Nuts against the Wall with Horizontal Rain. Roller-skating in anthorpic costumearound 3-legged table Subject Generator or Hyphen. Birth of 'hyphen' concept. First Hyphen for Oxford. Amalgamation of worksby GAG members. Associate professor, Royal College of Art,London. Explored mutual relationship between performance, ritual and sculpture in non-theatrical setting. Hyphen with 6 meter opening and Ramp. Drawings in first travel - Greece and Italy
1977 Hyphen, Hyphens'- versions in a range of materials. Part time teaching, Chelsea and Hornsey. A Guide to Generative Arts published. British citizenship
1978 Hyphen developed as a shape. Tactile objects and first Hyphens for Newcastle exhibition.
1979 Generative geometry vs. Reductionism and minimalism. First Fusions in wood and soft metal. Complete installation: Three Hyphens in a chalk circle and Fusions. First works in steel. Durham Cathedral project: Starhead.

The 80's
1980 Research grant from UK Arts Council for work at Durham and Newcastle universities. Strange forms developed from triangles, rectangles and open circles. The geometry of the trangle
1981 Visited Japan. Reflections on the organic nature of Generative Art. Developed interest in conceptualism. Ascetic life training. Dissatisfiedwith English language fluency.
1982 Visiting professor, Concordia University, Montreal. Drawings develop the bringing together of entities. Studies for Visual Hermeneutics. One week lecturing, Fine Art Dept., British Columbia University, Vancouver. Worked on Hyphen, Vermont, USA. Meta-philosophical reflections. Worked on synthesis, selection and arrangements of catalitic forms, for a group of converging,catalytically orchestrated sculptures.
1983 Catalitic sculpture project matures: Hyphen and Swinging Hyphen (later Edge Runner). A Three-legged Cross becomes A-Cross. Double Hyphen and Open Monolith. Definition later Cross. Enneagon, stainless steel and wood. Occupied large workshop, London. Unnamed, first steel spheres.
1984-85 Time and Space - ten day workshop, Anchorage, Alaska.Phalus-Hyphen-Self-prints from Alaska. Alaska Hyphen, oak. Unfinished essay: Visual Hermeneutics. Unnamed: steel spheres; flows and experiments in open air.More reshaped forms in steel: Open Monolith and Starhead.Part time lecturer, Slade School of Art. Catalitic Sculpture series continued.
1986 Nine Catalitic Stations devised. Worked in wood: Twenty-Four Arguments, variations of Catalitic Sculpture. Worked on wood versions of Stations with steel spheres, in association with friend Alisa Barry. Moved to new workshop.
1987 Won „On the Strand“ sculpture competition, Charing Cross, London. Triple Starhead commissioned.
1988 Visit to Yugoslavia with Demarco Group. Steel spheres made in France. Yvonne's Hyphen, sculptures made in wood and copper. Bought house in Somène, France. Wallnuts studies -photographs and studies - photographs and drawings. Unnamed Water. Death of mother, November.
1989 Retrwat in Sumène. Wallnuts, spheres, water. Kidney disease; transplant waiting list. 9 months of kidney dialysis - time for meditation. Death of father. Slade School of Art. Communism collapses in Romania.

The 90's
1990 Three Stars - red, yellow and blue - a poster for Timisoara. Sister Rodica donates a kidney for transplant. St.Paul's Hospital, London. Unnamed (Water), Essential Sculpture. Signed steel spheres sold. From volume in sculpture to volume in architecture.
1991 Nine Catalytic Stations revived/retitled Epagoge. Versions in wood, bronze and steel. Number of stations increases to eleven with composition and form changes. Awarded Sargent research grant, British Academy, Rome. Architectural scheme. Awarded comission for Century Cross, Bucharest.
1992 Returned to London. Research and rethinking of the Epagoge installation. Two versions of Epagoge in bronze and steel. Sketch New Hyphen - various using different materials.
1993 Nine Catalytic Stations and Unnamed (grouped spheres) mingle to form Epagoge, a steel construction. Epagoge, nine sculptures and 81 spheres ensemble. Drawings and watercolours. Betweenness - strings of beads mixed with Catalytic Sculptures in smaller versions. Synthetic form of New Hyphen - sculpture, painting, drawing.
1994 New Hyphen and Unnamed. Reorganisation of nothing. Six years of work unfinished Epagoge continues slowly due to lack of funds. Sacramentalia.
1995 Table of the Silence, International Brancusi workshop, Bucharest. New Hyphen renamed Ten Right Angles/Ten Righteous Angels. Resumeswork on Sacramentalia.
1996 Donated 140 works to the National Art Museum, Bucharest.
1997 Continues to develop Hyphen concept, and experiments with steel spheres. Catalytic Bronze and hundreds of spheres. Resumed ideas about performance art (Going Tornado).
1998 Hyphen sculptures developed in different materials. Adapted previous techniques.
1999 Workshop, Southern China, Sculpture for a Magical Landscape. Steel 5m high Hyphen on granite pedestal. Anthropocosmos, 300m diameter project for China. Monumental Sacramentalia cast in bronze. Sells house and workshop in France. New workshop, Curtea de Arges.

2000
2000-2001 Edited new GAT catalogue, A Derridean Tornado. Tornado - like drawings, Hyphen wing for 'filtering tactile sculpture'. Sacramentalia transformation; an orchestration of approx. 30 unfinished works. Sold Neagu archive to Tate Modern Gallery
2004 Dies in London on June 16th 2004


Extract from Matei Stircea-Craciun, 'Paul Neagu Nine Catalytic Stations', with the kind approval of the author. The main part of this biography has been signed off by Paul Neagu.

 

 

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