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Paula Rego/ Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian/



Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian

Délégation en France


Centre Calouste Gulbenkian

25 January - 1 April 2012

Fondation GulbenkianPaula Rego – Angel, 1998


The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, in partnership with the Paula Rego Foundation/Casa das Histórias, presents in Paris a representative exhibition of the highly renowned British artist Paula Rego, born in Lisbon in 1935. The artist, who works on memories of her childhood spent in Portugal, trained as an artist in London, where she lives.

Bringing together a collection of works created between 1988 and 2010, a period representing the artist's total maturity, the exhibition, which is in no way a retrospective, centres on a selection of the thematic series which have the most contributed to her international recognition.

With a selection of paintings, drawings and prints, as part of a narrative which intertwines with other artistic disciplines like literature, cinema or drama, and the multiplicity of her resources, both scholarly and popular, Paula Rego appears as a figurative artist who masters both the technical tools and the aesthetic resources of the old masters, developing an artistic language which speaks to our time, disrupting or provoking, questioning and altering the spectator. The series on abortion (Untitled) (1998) or the Mulher Cão (Dog woman) (1994), where women are portrayed, unexpectedly, with an aura of energy, determination and power, are examples of her potent effect on our awareness and behaviour.

The themes explore the numerous and complex fields of human relations, the dark and emotional side of their nature and the ambiguity of their actions, filtered through a militant feminine awareness. One might think that it represents an unreservedly feminine point of view, but it is, above all, Paula Rego's point of view that is expressed, unique and distinctive. In 1998 the artist painted an angel, protector and avenger, a feminine figure carrying sword and sponge, symbols of the Passion. The drama is played out around her under the merciless scrutiny of her emotions.