Paula Rego, ‘Grandmother (Rosenthal 185)’, 2001, Forum Auctions

Signed in pencil, a proof aside from the edition of 17, printed by Paupers Press, London, published by Marlborough Graphics, London, the full sheet, 760 x 565mm (30 x 22 1/8in) (unframed)

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About Paula Rego

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.”

Portugese, b. 1935, Lisbon, Portugal, based in London and Portugal