PAULA REGO | ITSLIQUID

PAULA REGO

Art | September 21, 2021 |

paularego
Image courtesy of Tate Britain Gallery

Paula Rego
Tate Britain Gallery, London
July 07 – October 24, 2021

Tate Britain opens the UK’s largest and most comprehensive retrospective of the work of Paula Rego. An uncompromising artist of extraordinary imaginative power, Rego (b.1935) redefined figurative art and revolutionised the way in which women are represented. The exhibition tells the story of this artist’s remarkable life, highlighting the personal nature of much of her work and the socio-political context in which it is rooted. It reveals her broad range of references, from comic strips to history paintings. Featuring over 100 works including collage, paintings, large-scale pastels, drawings and etchings, the show spans Rego’s early work from the 1950s to her richly layered, staged scenes from the 2000s.

paularego
Image courtesy of Tate Britain Gallery

The exhibition begins with a selection of Rego’s rarely seen early works in which the artist first explored personal as well as social struggle. In Interrogation 1950, painted at fifteen years of age, Rego asserted her commitment to denouncing injustices and standing up for victims. In her paintings, collages and drawings from the 1960s to 70s, Rego passionately and fiercely opposed the Portuguese dictatorship, using a range of sources for inspiration including advertisements, caricatures and news stories. She also explored folk tales as representations of human psyche and behaviour, as with Brancaflor – The Devil and the Devil’s Wife in Bed 1975.

paularego
Image courtesy of Tate Britain Gallery

Rego abandoned collage in 1980 and returned to painting, combining childhood memories with her experiences as a woman, wife and lover. The exhibition includes major paintings from this period such as examples from ‘The Vivian Girls’ series, in which girls rebel against a coercive society, and the seminal works that established Rego’s reputation when first exhibited at the Serpentine Gallery in 1988 including The Policeman’s Daughter 1987. Many of these pictures relate to Rego’s intense relationship with her husband, the painter Victor Willing, who for many years suffered from multiple sclerosis and died in 1988.

paularego
Image courtesy of Tate Britain Gallery

Throughout her career, Rego has been fascinated with storytelling and this imbues much of her work. The exhibition includes prints from her series Nursery Rhymes 1989 in which Rego explores the strangeness and cruelty of traditional British children’s songs. As the first artist-in-residence at the National Gallery, Rego also took inspiration from art history, weaving references to old masters such as Hogarth and Velázquez into paintings in which the protagonists are women, exploring their struggle and their journey towards emancipation, as in The Artist in Her Studio 1993.

paularego
Image courtesy of Tate Britain Gallery

The exhibition features Rego’s large pastels of single, female figures from the 1990s to 2000s, including the ‘Dog Woman’ and ‘Abortion’ series, some of the artist’s most celebrated and arresting pictures. Works from the ‘Abortion’ series, which the artist was proud to see used to campaign for the legalisation of abortion in Portugal, depict women in the aftermath of illegal abortions. Possession 2004, another major series of pastels rarely exhibited, combines Rego’s personal experience of depression and therapy with inspiration from 19th century staged photographs of women diagnosed as suffering from ‘hysteria’.

paularego
Image courtesy of Tate Britain Gallery

The exhibition invites visitors into Rego’s creative world and explores the mise-en-scènes that the artist has been setting up, drawing and painting in her studio throughout the 2000s. Seminal paintings from this period include War 2003 and The Pillowman 2004. The exhibition also brings together striking works addressing the issues of women’s trafficking and female genital mutilation. These powerful images confront difficult stories of pain and abuse that Rego feels need to be told.

paularego
Image courtesy of Tate Britain Gallery

Paula Rego is curated by Elena Crippa, Curator, Modern & Contemporary Art, with Zuzana Flašková, Assistant Curator, Modern & Contemporary British Art, Tate Britain. It is organised by Tate Britain in collaboration with Kunstmuseum Den Haag and Museo Picasso Málaga. It will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue from Tate Publishing.

more. www.tate.org.uk

paularego
Image courtesy of Tate Britain Gallery
paularego
Image courtesy of Tate Britain Gallery

Are you an artist, architect, designer? Would you like to be featured on ITSLIQUID platform? Send an e-mail to info@itsliquid.com or fill the form below

RELATED POSTS


Enjoy – the mumok Collection…

Art | October 25, 2021

Ten years after Museum of Desires, her inaugural exhibition at mumok, Karola Kraus is organizing with her team a collection presentation that showcases central donations and acquisitions from the past decade in order to shed new light on the collections development. Read more


Gerhard Richter: Drawings, 1999-2021

Art | October 15, 2021

From 9 September to 12 December 2021, Hayward Gallery’s HENI Project Space will present the most extensive exhibition of Gerhard Richter’s drawings ever shown in the UK. Over the course of a career that has spanned six decades, Richter has been widely acknowledged as one of the most influential contemporary artists in the world. Read more


JASPER JOHNS: MIND/MIRROR

Art | September 23, 2021

Jasper Johns: Mind/MirrorPhiladelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York September 28, 2021 – February 13, 2022 A single exhibition in two venues, this unprecedented collaboration, Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror, will be the artist’s first major museum retrospective on the East Coast in a quarter century. Resulting from five years of […] Read more


UNDERGROUND MODERNIST: E. MCKNIGHT KAUFFER

Design | September 19, 2021

This September, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum will present the largest-ever exhibition of works by E. McKnight Kauffer (American, 1890–1954), a pioneer of commercial art—the profession known today as graphic design. Read more


Sign up for our Newsletter.

Enter your email to receive our latest updates!