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vladimir bulat on Mon, 21 Jun 2004 15:37:51 +0200 (CEST)

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una din vestile cele mai triste cu putinta ne-a dat-o astazi Magda Carneci>

sa-i fie tarina usoara...

cu plecaciuni,
vladimir bulat
Paul Neagu
(Filed: 21/06/2004)

Paul Neagu , who died on Thursday aged 66, was often called the most
important Romanian artist since Constantin Brancusi.

His sculptures, paintings, drawings and documentation of his performances
are in numerous public collections, including the British Museum, the Tate,
V & A and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. He exhibited and
performed in many countries, and in recent years he had two important
sculptures erected in his homeland: Century Cross, in Charles de Gaulle
Plaza, Bucharest; and Crucifixion in Timisoara.

Neagu was also a much valued teacher. Over the years he taught in a number
of art schools here - notably Hornsey, the Slade and Chelsea - and abroad.
In 1976 he was an associate professor at the Royal College of Art. Among
British students were Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor and Rachel Whiteread.

Paul Neagu was born in Bucharest on February 22 1938, the second son of the
six children of Tudor and Rosalie Neagu. His father was a cobbler, and the
cobbler's last - the triangular foot-shaped piece of wood or metal on which
shoes are made or repaired - was the shape he adapted for his signature
motif, which he called Hyphen. Neagu drew endless symbolic and metaphorical
inspiration from Hyphen, regenerating its image in hundreds of drawings,
paintings and sculptural variations in wood and metal. Part of the reason
for his breadth of vision was the variety of his learning. He had studied
philology, philosophy and engineering. He had also worked as an electrician
and an engineering draughtsman. Yoga, swimming, riding and bicycling gave
him a fitness which he exploited in often gruelling feats of performance

Neagu graduated in painting from the Beaux Arts Academy, Bucharest, in
In 1969 Stalinist travel restrictions were briefly lifted. As a result, he
met the Edinburgh-based artist and impresario Richard Demarco, always in
search of talent in neglected countries, who was the sole passenger on the
first post-embargo BEA flight to Bucharest. Demarco offered Neagu a show in
Edinburgh and sensibly the young artist accepted the challenge - the Iron
Curtain descended again after eight months and was not lifted until the
execution of Ceausecu 20 years later.

The meeting with Demarco proved a watershed. Demarco was an originator of
the Fringe movement at the Edinburgh Festival, and Neagu benefited
enormously from the artistic melting-pot which the Demarco art festival and
Summer School represented.

Neagu soon became part of a "trio" of, at that stage, internationally
unknown artists who made a special contribution to the Demarco programme.
Each was notable for a broad and theatrically innovative approach to the
visual arts; the other "members" were the German Joseph Beuys and the Pole,
Tadeusz Kantor.

The annual Demarco Summer Schools included journeys of spiritual discovery
and cultural integration undertaken by students and artists, linking the
sacred sites of ancient Scotland, such as Callanish, with similarly sacred
and ancient sites abroad, from Delphi to Carnac. Some of Neagu's most
memorable performances were made on these journeys; he liked the way they
took art out of its usually restrictive and commercial settings, and
them he discovered his talent for teaching.

Neagu was a devotee of James Joyce, and in 1972 he invented the humorously
fictitious Generative Arts Group. An impressive-sounding organisation
to gain public patronage and critical attention; it also enabled him to
in different styles without attracting negative reviews. GAG was in the
history books before it was revealed that its four other members, including
Philip Honeysuckle and Husney Belmood, were creatures of his imagination.

Neagu soon established himself as the heir to Brancusi's encompassing and
profound search for spiritual harmony. His art, though outside even the
fashionable conventions of the so-called conceptual art of the time, soon
made its mark. His first museum show was organised by Nicholas Serota at
MOMA, Oxford, in 1975.

Hyphen, introduced in 1976, contains the formal trinity of triangle, square
and spiralling circle. As an innately religious man, Neagu had a profound
respect for sacred geometry, and regarded Hyphen as a source of an
all-embracing energy governing human, and therefore imaginative, life.

For all his achievements Neagu did not fit easily with the commercial
requirements of the western art scene. He was a metaphysical artist who,
having experienced war and persecution, could not forget that the spirit is
paramount. For him art could never be business.

He was seldom free of practical worries, made worse by an addiction to
strong cigarettes and stronger coffee, which latterly caused him many
problems. In 1989 his sister donated a kidney to allow him a transplant
operation. It was typical of his resilience that he subsequently made some
of his largest pieces and continued to travel the world from his base in a
council flat in Holloway, north London.

In 2003 Tate Britain honoured him with a small display to celebrate the
purchase of his archive. He had recently suffered a stroke which impaired
his speech, but bravely attended the opening, sporting a stylish scarf and
black fedora - defiantly bohemian to the end.

His marriage, in 1967, to Sibyla Orancea was dissolved; there were no


Vreau sa-mi inregistrez CV-ul la BursaMuncii!
Vreti sa publicati oferte de munca? Noi avem solutia!
Lasa profesionistii sa lucreze pentru tine!

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