Power relations, sexuality, and mythology are common threads running through the work of Paula Rego (b. 1935). Her figurative paintings explore both her personal struggles, including years of depression, and social problems like the inferior status of women. Rego grew up in Portugal, “a terrible country for women”, according to her father, who moved to Britain for his work, leaving her with her grandmother. Rego went to study at the Slade School of Fine Art in London, and eventually made the city her home after many years of moving back and forth. It was in London that Rego evolved into one of the biggest stars of contemporary painting, but her work is now increasingly appreciated outside the UK, too. In collaboration with Tate Britain, Kunstmuseum Den Haag is to host the biggest retrospective of Paula Rego’s work to date, featuring more than seventy collages, paintings, etchings and drawings, ranging from her early work in the 1960s, her huge pastel drawings like Angel, and the impressive Abortion series, to her multi-layered ‘staged scenes’ of the 2000s.
"You discover things in the making of a painting. It can reveal things that you didn’t expect. Things you keep secret from yourself."
A catalogue will be published to accompany the exhibition. With contributions from Laura Stamps (Kunstmuseum Den Haag), Elena Crippa (Tate Britain), Maria Manuel Lisboa (Universiteit Cambridge), Minna Moore Ede, Zuzana Flaskova (Tate Britain), Giulia Smith (Universiteit Oxford) and Marina Warner, and published by Hannibal Publishing, it will be available in Dutch and English. Price: € 39.95.
The exhibition is being produced in collaboration with Tate Britain and Museo Picasso Málaga, and sponsored by the Mondrian Fund, Fonds 21 and the Turing Foundation.