Paula Rego at the Tate Britain

Paula Rego at the Tate Britain
#Exhibitions

The largest and most complete retrospective ever dedicated to the work of Paula Rego in the United Kingdom colours the halls of the Tate Britain with the extraordinary power of the imagination with which the Portuguese artist redefined figurative art, revolutionising the way that the female universe was represented. The career of Rego intertwines with the socio-political context in which it is rooted, retracing the ample gamma of references in her work, from comic books to historical paintings, with over 100 works, including collages, drawings and engravings. From the first works, rarely on display, in which Rego first explored her personal and social struggles, up to Interrogation 1950, created at fifteen as witness to the fight against injustice, the exhibition accompanies the spectator among works conceived between the ‘60s and ‘70s. The ferocious and impassioned opposition to the Portuguese dictatorship, the investigation of popular tales to represent the psyche and human behaviour, her departure from collages in 1980 to return to painting, weave an itinerary which includes important paintings, such as the series The Vivian Girls, an expression of female rebellion against a coercive society. In many of these images, the intense relationship between Rego and her husband, painter Victor Willing, struck my multiple sclerosis and deceased in 1988, is quite present. The first resident artist at the National Gallery, Rego was also inspired by art history, alluding to ancient masters like Velázquez in paintings featuring female protagonists in their struggle towards emancipation, such as in The Artist in Her Studio from 1993.
Samantha De Martin - © 2021 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel London