Photo Exhibition: ‘Paul Neagu (1938-2004): A Portrait’ by Laurentiu Garofeanu

15th September 2009

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Paul Neagu Presented by The Ratiu Foundation / Romanian Cultural Centre in London Open until Tuesday 15 September 2009 The Ratiu Foundation / Romanian Cultural Centre, Manchester Square, 18 Fitzhardinge Street, London W1H 6EQ; Tel. 020 7486 0295 ext. 108 Opening times: Mon - Fri 12.00 - 18.00. Admission free (booking essential, by phone or e-mail at To commemorate Paul Neagu (1938-2004) - sculptor, painter, poet, and larger-than-life character - the Ratiu Foundation / Romanian Cultural Centre in London have opened a special exhibition of portraits of Paul and his work, taken by photographer and film-maker Laurentiu Garofeanu during 2003-2004. Paul Neagu came to London in 1969 at the invitation of Richard Demarco. By that time he had already worked on the construction of dams in the Danube, and studied painting at the Nicolae Grigorescu Institute in Bucharest. In London he started his career by lecturing at Chelsea School of Art and Hornsey College of Art, and many of the young sculptors he taught subsequently achieved international recognition. Since gaining British citizenship in 1977 he has been widely recognised, not only for his input in British sculpture, but also as the author of a series of drawings, paintings and performances. In 1992 he obtained Romanian citizenship, and became a citizen of both Britain and Romania. His inspirations are said to come partly from works of Cubism, Marcel Duchamp, Brancusi, but his major influences can also be said to be the metaphysics of geometry, mythology, and eschatology. Focusing on his interest in the concept of movement, exploiting his background as a technician and engineer in his creations, he also explores themes of modern philosophy, using metaphor rather than logic as a tool. The exhibition was launched with a special Culture Power presentation in memoriam Paul Neagu, on 2 July, where The Heart of the Tornado, a documentary film by Laurentiu and Agniezska Garofeanu, was screened. The projection was introduced by art critic and writer Mel Gooding and followed by a lively Q&A with the film-maker, and with friends of Paul sharing some of their memories of this great man. This exhibition was made possible through a Ratiu Foundation grant.