The first permanent sculpture by a Romanian artist has been unveiled in London.
“Edherunner” by Paul Neagu (1938-2004) was unveiled at Owen’s Field on 25th July 2012, in the presence of the Ambassador of Romania, Dr. Ion Jinga, the Mayor of Islington, Councillor Jilani Chowdhury, and Director of the Romanian Cultural Institute in London, Dorian Branea.
The event, organised by the Romanian Cultural Institute in London, Paul Neagu Estate and Islington Council, was attended by several people including Tony Neagu, Serban Cantacuzino, Iolanada Costide – trustees of the Paul Neagu Estate.
The monumental stainless steel work "Edgerunner" was exposed in a different version at the Serpentine Gallery in London and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, during the artist's lifetime, in 1982.
The sculpture is a hybrid form, derived from the “hyphen” concept, a central visual language originally developed by Neagu.
Neagu was a major influence to British sculptors as Anish Kapoor famed for his large public art works such as the ArcelorMittal Orbit at the Olympic Park, Antony Gormley or Tony Cragg, and is considered one of the most important Romanian sculptors since Constantin Brancusi.
Paul Neagu's works were exhibited at Modern Art Oxford, Paris Biennale, Whitechapel Gallery, Hayward Gallery, London Serpentine Gallery and the ICA.
Important museums like the Tate, National Art Museum of Bucharest and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo have works by Paul Neagu in their permanent collections.
The Romanian artist came to London in 1970, and lived and worked in Islington until his death in 2004.
Paul Neagu’s “Edgerunner” is a gift of Romania to the people of Islington, presented by Romanian Cultural Institute in London, Tony Neagu and Paul Neagu Estate. It is part of the Romanian Cultural programme during the London 2012 Olympic Season.