All works ©The Estate of Paul Neagu, All Rights Reserved, DACS / Pictoright 2019
20-01-19 > 31-03-19.
An exhibition curated by Maria Rus Bojan
The artist Paul Neagu (Bucharest, 1938 – London, 2004), whose work from Romanian and Dutch private collections makes the object of this special exhibition, was a seminal figure of the British conceptual art in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Often considered to be the most important Romanian sculptor since Constantin Brancusi, Paul Neagu left his native country in 1969, and settled in London, where he had a prolific career, and lived until the end of his life. His experimental and philosophical approach to sculpture, as well as his meaningful teaching at the Royal College of Art, and later at Slade School of Art and Hornsey College had an outstanding influence on his students, some of them now famous, such as Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley and Tony Cragg.
Although widely recognized in the art world and frequently exhibited in various museums worldwide, Paul Neagu’s work remained relatively unknown to the general public outside the U.K. and his native Romania. In line with the objectives of Parts Projects, this exhibition aims to present for the first time to the Dutch audience key works from his outstanding oeuvre, emphasizing the most important conceptual motifs and recurrent themes from different creative periods, as well as introducing his diverse artistic
practices, which integrates performance, sculpture, drawing, painting and photography.
Complex and metaphysical, Paul Neagu’s work is seductive both from the intellectual and sensorial point of view. If in his early years, ritualistic performances left a trail of sculptural objects, which demand an immersive, holistic experience, in his later years, his work become more concise, drawing links between geometry and metaphysics in an attempt to capture in one single form the generative essence of the universe.
Including a selection of works coming from important private collections from Romania, France and The Netherlands, this exhibition at Parts Projects, although rather small, offers a fascinating reading of the multiple significances of Paul Neagu’s work, confirming once again his place, both in the pantheon of British minimalist art and in the Romanian tradition of working primarily with symbolical and universal meanings.
Paul Neagu’s works were exhibited at the Institute for Contemporary Art in London (1979), Oxford Modern Art (1975), Serpentine Gallery (1987) and some of his works are part of public collections such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the Henry Moore Foundation, Leeds, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Tate Gallery, London, The Arts Council of Great Britain, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Kontakt Collection, Vienna, and Romania’s National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest.
The works for this exhibition were generously loaned by the following private collections: Ovidiu Sandor, Mircea Pinte and Mihai Nazarie from Romania, Artur Trawinski and Irmina Nazar from France, and by Cees Hendrikse and Maria Rus Bojan from The Netherlands. The exhibition is organized by Parts Projects in collaboration with the Embassy of Romania in the Royal Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the Carmen Sylva Foundation, Rotterdam.
Special thanks to the artist’s family from Romania, Sorina Jecza, Suzana Vasilescu and Cees Hendrikse.