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


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