• WHO WAS 1968?
    28 Sept 2018 − 13 Jan 2019

    LENTOS Kunstmuseum WHO WAS 1968? Art, Architecture, Society Curated by: Hedwig Saxenhuber, Georg Schöllhammer Loans by Kontakt from: Heimrad Bäcker, Stanisław Dróżdż, VALIE EXPORT, Stano Filko, Běla Kolářová, Július Koller, Natalia LL, Karel Miler, Petr Štembera, Raša Todosijević and Goran Trbuljak A decade of eruptions, departures and redefinitions in the steel city Linz. The year I968 marks a turning point that ushered in a new era. Across Western Europe and in the United States Student protests and workers’ revolts called into question the post-war power structure itself, while Soviet tanks bulldozed the Prague Spring into the ground and signalled the end of the hope that the Eastern Bloc would open up to the West. This exhibition harks back to the echoes of I968 in Linz and Upper Austria. Embracing the arts, architecture, music, film and literature, it unfolds for the first time a synoptic map on which key figures and moments of local history – some largely unknown to this day – are accorded a place. It enables visitors to embark on exploratory trips and to survey the rich fabric of relationships and linkages that includes points of contact with international scenarios and trends. Experiments in the aesthetic field were begun with a view to escaping from the cultural stuffiness of the first two post-war decades. The participating artists include: Claudia von Alemann, Ant Farm, Heimrad Bäcker, Josef Bauer, Bill Bollinger, Dietmar Brehm, Gerd Conradt, Waltraut Cooper, Stanisław Dróżdż, Erró, VALIE EXPORT, Harun Farocki, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Stano Filko, Helmuth Gsöllpointner, Timo Huber, Johann Jascha, Martha Jungwirth, Gülsün Karamustafa, Gerhard Knogler, Běla Kolářová, Juliús Koller, Peter Kubelka, Zofia Kulik, KwieKulik, Maria Lassnig, Fritz Lichtenauer, Natalia LL, Karel Miler, Josef Nöbauer, OHO, Yoko Ono, Gina Pane, Friederike Pezold, Cora Pongracz, Chris Reinecke, Martha Rosler, Dieter Roth, Zorka Sàglovà, Dominik Steiger, Petr Štembera, Raša Todosijević, Goran Trbuljak, Tucumàn Arde, Jiřì Valoch, Agnés Varda, Peter Weibel, Hannah Wilke, Jana Želibská, Želimir Žilnik, Zünd-Up


Paul Neagu

Paul Neagu began performing actions around 1968 in Bucharest. He placed his first palpable objects outdoors in the city streets, with some of the locations being in unexpected corners of town, and these objects engaged passers-by in an experiential sort of experiment that directly addressed the body and the senses. Upon getting to know the Scottish curator and gallery owner Richard Demarco, Paul Neagu’s life and career stood at a turning point. Following his participation in the 1969 exhibition Four Romanian Artists in Edinburgh at Demarco’s invitation, Neagu decided to leave Romania. The various actions and generative art projects produced during the initial British years that followed were strongly associated with Demarco’s gallery and the Edinburgh Festival, where he was introduced to the work of other Eastern European colleagues and of Western artists such as Joseph Beuys.

The exhibition Paul Neagu and his Generative Art Group, curated by Nicholas Serota and Sandy Naire, opened in 1975 at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford and represented the finale of the fictitious and ludic art group that Paul Neagu had founded in 1972. Its imaginary members were painter Husny Belmood, designer Philip Honeysuckle, painter Edward Larsocchi, and poet Anton Paidola. The group operated as a “complete structure—a whole with its own life, a self-regulating system of suggestions and transformations” (Generative Art Group, London, 1974). The invention of the group advanced a highly intellectual and philosophical concept of generative art, underlining the complicated interplay of references based upon which Neagu’s artistic practice articulated itself. In keeping with his interest in Noam Chomsky’s theory of generative grammar and in the general systems theory of Ludwig von Bertalanffy, GAG became a conceptual and philosophical instrument that enabled the artist to move toward a spiritual exploration of man/cosmos relationships. GAG’s practice emphasized cross-mediality and various forms of expression (drawing, printed matter, object, performance, photography).



1938, București / RO – 2004, London / UK

Paul Neagu studied from 1959 until 1965 at the Institute for Plastic Arts "Nicolae Grigorescu" at the Bucharest National University of Arts. In 1970 he moved to London, UK, where he would stay for the rest of his life (he received the British citizenship in 1977). In 1976 he became Associate Professor at the Royal College of Art.

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  • Foto: Adam Savoky