Paula Rego

Portuguese, b. 1935

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Paula Rego

Portuguese, b. 1935

1,267
Followers
Biography

A “painter of stories” celebrated for her dark, complex paintings, prints, drawings, and collages, Paula Rego draws upon folk- and fairytales, literature, and her own biography to create politically charged, deeply unsettling tableaux. Her forceful compositions are imbued with cruelty—both subtle and overt—and permeated with a sense of unease and ambiguity. Foregrounding women and girls, and often using animals as stand-ins for humans, she depicts dysfunctional family relationships, political systems (like that of Portugal’s António de Oliveira Salazar), and social structures. Rego is fascinated by what she calls “the beautiful grotesque” in life and in art. As she describes: “It’s the divine, perhaps. […] I mean some other kind of divine, which connects very strongly to Portuguese folk tales and stories—the strength of them and, very often, the enormous cruelty involved. The cruelty is fascinating.”

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Auction
High auction record
£1m, Sotheby's, 2015
User
Solo show at a major institution
Serpentine Galleries, and 1 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
Serpentine Galleries, and 2 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Biography

A “painter of stories” celebrated for her dark, complex paintings, prints, drawings, and collages, Paula Rego draws upon folk- and fairytales, literature, and her own biography to create politically charged, deeply unsettling tableaux. Her forceful compositions are imbued with cruelty—both subtle and overt—and permeated with a sense of unease and ambiguity. Foregrounding women and girls, and often using animals as stand-ins for humans, she depicts dysfunctional family relationships, political systems (like that of Portugal’s António de Oliveira Salazar), and social structures. Rego is fascinated by what she calls “the beautiful grotesque” in life and in art. As she describes: “It’s the divine, perhaps. […] I mean some other kind of divine, which connects very strongly to Portuguese folk tales and stories—the strength of them and, very often, the enormous cruelty involved. The cruelty is fascinating.”

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Auction
High auction record
£1m, Sotheby's, 2015
User
Solo show at a major institution
Serpentine Galleries, and 1 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
Serpentine Galleries, and 2 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Shows Featuring Paula Rego
Articles Featuring Paula Rego
From Andy Warhol to Chris Ofili, the London Auction Season’s Eight Most Important Acquisitions
Jul 6th, 2015
Simone de Beauvoir’s Musings on Feminism and Angst Unite Five Female Artists in “She Came to Stay”
Jun 23rd, 2015
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