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Thu, 05 Dec 2019
Rego Retrospective at Modern Two
# 07:00 in ./general

Just before I left London I saw that there was a Paula Rego exhibition on in Milton Keynes and I decided to try and travel up there and see it. Paula Rego is a Portugese artist long resident in the UK and I've come across her work a few times, finding it strange and very memorable.

Needless to say, in the time I had to sort out my move to Edinburgh, I didn't make it up there. I was therefore very pleasantly surprised to see the the Edinburgh National Gallery of Modern Art was hosting the exhibition in my new home city. It's called Obedience and Defiance and I went to have a look last week.

Left: Pillowman, pastel, 2004

Rego uses her studio like a theatre set: she has props, sets them up and dresses it up. The result is often strange and uniquely hers.

I don't like her earlier work much but her later, more representational art is very good and instantly recognisable. She has a striking style and works at a large scale in pastel (in itself, a bit different). The same faces appear, with odd and unsettling scenes in some. Some works are definitely harder to look at: they're at the opposite end of the spectrum to the sweet or pastoral. She's done some work that shows she is in the same tradition as Francisco Goya. A good artist getting some proper recognition now.

© Alastair Sherringham 2023
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