‘The Cruel Tales of Paula Rego’ at the Museum of l’Orangerie in Paris

An exhibition entitled ‘The Cruel Tales of Paula Rego’, with works by the Portuguese artist, will be inaugurated on October 17 at the Orangerie Museum in Paris, according to the French institution’s online site.

The exhibition, curated by Cécile Debray, director of the Orangerie Museum, will be on display until January 14, 2019 and will include works such as ‘Scavengers’, 1994, and the trippy ‘The Fisherman’, 2005.

“Only female artist of the London School group, Paula Rego is distinguished by a strongly figurative, literary, incisive and singular work”, describes the presentation text of the exhibition.

Born in Lisbon in 1935, she left Portugal as a teenager during the dictatorship of Salazar to study at the Slade School of Arts in London, where she lived and lived for more than 50 years.

At that time, Paula Rego lived with prominent names of the painting as Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach and David Hockney.

Inhabited by a certain literature and culture of the nineteenth century, realistic and fantastic, Paula Rego approaches in a very contemporary way references such as Jane Eyre, Peter Pan, Daumier, Goya, Lewis Carroll, Hogarth, and Ensor. Degas, “he writes.

To these references, “adds strongly autobiographical elements and the real, the world today, and social and political issues.”

“Narratives, blatant, the screens seem out of cruel tales that evoke the female condition in strange scenes, against the current of social codes,” he adds.

The French museum also cites the artist: “My favorite themes are power games and hierarchies. I always want to change everything, move the established order, replace heroines and idiots.”

Until October 27, some 60 preparatory drafts by Paula Rego for her paintings, covering work done over three decades, are on display in London at Marlborough Fine Art, the gallery that represents the Portuguese artist.

The exhibition aims to show how the drawing is essential for understanding the work of the artist, and to highlight the talent, detail and creativity in the preparation of the paintings.

Entitled “Paula Rego: From Mind to Hand Drawings – 1980-2001”, the exhibition follows an unpublished one, dedicated to the sketchbooks of the Portuguese painter, held at the Pallant House Gallery last year.

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