The Cell, 1997 Portuguese State Contemporary Art Collection, long-term loan to Fundação de Serralves - Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto, Portugal. Deposit 1990 Photo: © Filipe Braga
‘Who tells a tale adds a tail’ is a proverb used to indicate that a story is added to with each telling, i.e., people add their own details to their account of the very same event or fact. ‘Story telling’ is one of the expressions that best define the oeuvre of artist Paula Rego (Lisbon, 1935 – 2022, London); ‘adding details’, which all readers and viewers do, is the most accurate expression to define the visitors of exhibitions.
Paula Rego was one of the artists who obtained the most recognition in the country where she was born and raised (Portugal) as well as in England, where she studied and lived until
her death, and worldwide. The readings of her work underlined above all the relationship of her painting, drawings and prints with folk and traditional tales (many of them Portuguese in origin), with literature (including for children) and with her autobiography (especially her childhood), as well as on her contribution to a constant questioning and redefinition of women’s role in society.
Organised in the year of Paula Rego’s passing away, this exhibition showcases a substantial amount of
her works in the Serralves Collection – including the impacting polyptych Possessão [Possession] (2004) – and constitutes an opportunity to once again enjoy her work.