Paul Neagu Drawings of Objects made between 1969 & 1972 Dated 1973 © Estate of Paul Neagu. All rights reserved. DACS, London 2023


Born 1938
Died 2004
Nationality British

Paul Neagu adopted a radical approach to sculpture in the post-war period. Emphasising its tactile and sensory qualities he encouraged interaction with his objects. His work made use of diverse range of materials, including matchboxes and newspapers. The second of six children, Neagu grew up under Soviet military occupation and endured the harsh conditions of Communism in post-war Romania. His father was a shoemaker, something which inspired his choice of materials, techniques and handmade approach to sculpture. In the late 1950s he worked for the Romanian railways drawing maps, while taking evening drawing classes. His artistic influences include Marcel Duchamp, Constantin Brâncuși and Joseph Beuys.
Neagu studied at the Bucharest Institute of Fine Arts in the early 1960s, after failing to secure a place to study philosophy at university. He was invited by artist and promoter of the visual arts, Richard Demarco, to show his work in a solo exhibition at the Demarco Gallery, Edinburgh in 1969. In spring 1970, he left Romania permanently, emigrating first to France and then to Scotland, before finally settled in London later that year. He gained British citizenship in 1977. Neagu became a respected teacher in various art schools, including the Hornsey College of Art and the Royal College of Art, London, where his students included Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor and Rachel Whiteread. His papers are held by Tate Archive, London, while his artworks are in numerous public collections.