Lot 55

Paul Neagu

Bronze Hand


Bronze, wood, iron and plexiglass
33 x 22.5 x 3.5 cm (13 x 8.9 x 1.4 inch); 3.6 kg

Sold for €15,000


Artwork description

Dated on the left side, 1971. Signed, titled and dated on the back, "Paul Neagu, Bronze Hand, 1971"

Lot Notes

Bronze Hand is a complex and intriguing work by Paul Neagu that complements two other companion artworks, Full Hand and Empty Hand, created by Neagu between 1970 and 1971, which are now included in the collection of Tate Museum. The lot comes from Marina Dimitropoulos' collection and was featured in its catalogue. 

The hand is a motif that has been reiterated throughout the artist's oeuvre and has been linked by the artist to both humans’ creative capacity and their ability to perceive the sensation of touch. This duality reveals Neagu’s intention to emphasise the tactile quality of art as opposed to its traditional visual characteristics. As he wrote in the 1969 Palpable Art Manifesto!, "the eye is fatigued, perverted, shallow, its culture is degenerate, degraded and obsolete, seduced by photography, film, television", thus "you can take things in better, more completely, with your ten fingers, pores and mucous membranes than with only two eyes." To prove his point, Neagu created the three pieces mentioned above which, although conceived in the shape of a hand, can be disassembled and reconstructed by the spectator.

Neagu started the series of “tactile” and “palpable” objects in Bucharest in 1969 and continued it in London, between 1970 and 1972. The theme was explored through several important exhibitions that marked the artist’s introduction to the western European audience: in 1969, Tactile and Palpable Art at Richard Demarco Gallery, Edinburgh and Tactile Objects, in Bauzentrum, Hamburg, followed in 1970 by Tactile Objects and Anthropocosmos at the Sigi Krauss Gallery, London, Tactile Objects at the Compass Gallery, Glasgow in 1971, Anthropocosmos at Galerie Rivolta, Lausanne in 1972 and Tactile and Palpable Objects at Serpentine Gallery, London, in 1973.

The cell-like structure of the work underlines Neagu’s philosophy, according to which everything that exists is simultaneously distinct and interconnected. Neagu’s powerful vision proved particularly influential on prominent contemporary sculptors, such as Turner Prize winners Anish Kapoor and Tony Cragg.


Paul Neagu

Bucharest, Romania, 1938 - London, UK, 2004


Solo (Selection)
  • 2015 - "Paul Neagu: Palpable Sculpture", Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK (International)
  • 2015 - “Blind Bite”, Ivan Gallery, Bucharest, Romania (National)
  • 2014 - "Going Tornado", Ivan Gallery, Bucharest, Romania (National)
  • 2014 - “(R)evoluția formei”, retrospective exhibitions, Jecza Gallery, Timișoara, The Art Museum, Timișoara, The Art Museum, Cluj-Napoca, Romania (National)
  • 2014 - "What if He Was Right?", UNAgaleria, through Allegra Nomad Gallery, Bucharest, Romania (National)
  • 2012 - Reenactment performance, "Cake Man", Ivan Gallery, Bucharest, Romania (National)
  • 2012 - artZoom Paul Neagu la Peretele Alb”, AnnArt Gallery, Bucharest, Romania (National)
  • 2009 - Romanian Cultural Institute, London, UK (International)
  • 2004 - “Abstract Gamma Hyphen”, Gallery 49 , New York (International)
  • 2000 - Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana, Slovenia (International)
  • 1994 - Brukenthal Museum, Sibiu, Romania (National)
  • 1988 - “Nine Catalytic Stations 1975 – 1987”, University Gallery and Baring Wing - Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK (International)
  • 1983 - Kamakura Gallery, Kanagawa, Japonia (International)
  • 1979 - “Great Gathering of Hyphens”, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, UK (International)
  • 1976 - “Paul Neagu și Grupul de Artă Generativă”, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, UK (National)
  • 1973 - “Tactile and Palpable Objects”, Serpentine Gallery, London (International)
  • 1972 - “Antropocosmos”, Rivolta Gallery, Lausanne, France (International)
  • 1971 - Sigi Krauss Gallery, London, UK (International)
Group (Selection)
  • 2017 - “Beyond the Concept Frontier”, Art Encounters, Timișoara, Romania (National)
  • 2016 - 2017 - “My Sweet Little Lamb”, Gallery Nova, Zagreb, Croatia (International)
  • 2015 - “Thirty One”, National Gallery of Kosovo, Serbia (International)
  • 2014 - “The Bucharest Artistic Education and Romanian Art after 1950”, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania (National)
  • 2014 - “Report on the Construction of a Spaceship Module”, The New Museum, New York (International)
  • 2013 - 2014 - “Pencil ink | ink”, AnnArt Gallery, Bucharest, Romania (National)
  • 2013 - Paul Neagu & Geta Bratescu, Barbara Weiss Gallery, Berlin (International)
  • 2013 - “ArtZoom de vara_02”, AnnArt Gallery, Bucharest, Romania (National)
  • 2013 - “Artists Make Faces”, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, Plymouth, UK (International)
  • 2012 - "Little Fine Art", AnnArt Gallery, Bucharest, Romania (National)
  • 2012 - "Künstler aus Rumänien im Ausland", Emilia Suciu Gallery, Ettlingen, Germania (International)
  • 2011 - "Museo de las narrativas paralelas. En el marco de La Internacional ", Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Barcelona, ​​Spain (International)
  • 2011 - "United Enemies - The Problem of Sculpture in Britain in the 1960s and 1970s", Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK (International)
  • 2009 - "Gender Check - Rollenbilder in der Kunst Osteuropas", Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig - MUMOK, Vienna (International)
  • 2007 - "Demarco Archives", Brukenthal Museum, Sibiu, Romania (National)
  • 2006 - "George Apostu, Roman Cotosman, Paul Neagu - Artists in Exile", National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania (National)
  • 2006 - "Artişti în exil", The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania (National)
  • 2000 - Museum of Modern Art, Liubliana, Slovenia (International)
  • 1997 - “Out of Actions - Between Performance and Object”, in Barcelona, Tokyo, Vienna, Contemporary Museum of Art, Los Angeles (International)
  • 1981 - "Baroque '81" , Museum of Modern Art, Paris, France (International)
  • 1975 - “The Condition of Sculpture”, Hayward Gallery, London, UK (International)
  • 1969 - “Bauzentrum”, Hamburg, Germany (International)
  • 1969 - “Palpable Art Manifesto”, Demarco Gallery, Edinburgh, UK (International)
Biennial (Selection)
  • 2015 - "Mapping Bucharest: Art, Memory, and Revolution 1916–2016", MAK Vienna, Vienna Biennale (International)
  • 2015 - “Mapping Bucharest: Art, Memory, and Revolution 1916–2016”, Vienna Biennale (International)


  • “Blue Ribbon” Medal (Konjo Hosyo) awarded by the Japanese Government , 1996
  • Win the sculpture contest "On the Strand", Charing Cross, London, 1987
  • Award from the Arts Council of Great Britain for exhibitions abroad, 1981
  • Research grant awarded by the Arts Council of Great Britain for the Durham and Newcastle projects, 1980
  • The Northern Arts Scholarship awarded by the Arts Council of Great Britain, 1979
  • Tony Cobbeld Award, 1976
  • The Arts Council England Award, 1973


  • Tate Britain, England, United Kingdom
  • Victoria and Albert Museum, England, United Kingdom
  • The Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • The Henry Moore Foundation, England, United Kingdom
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art, U.S.A
  • Fukuoka Museum, Japan
  • National Museum of Art, Romania

News & Events


This Lot is exhibited at the Lavacow office.

In addition to the hammer price you will have to pay the buyer's premium, which represents 16% of the hammer price. Lavacow members benefit of a reduction of the tax to 15% in the case of 'Collector' members and to 14% in the case of 'VIP' members.

You can choose to pick up the Lot from the Lavacow office in Bucharest, free of charge, or have it delivered from our office to your address, in which case you will cover any related expenses and taxes.



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