About News Exhibitions Artists Press Contact History Members Area  
PREVIOUS ARTIST NEXT ARTIST

 

Dame Paula Rego DBE

 

"It was an exhibition at the beginning of the Eighties that made her conspicuous. It was comic and disturbing; a frightening sequence of paintings of delinquent monkeys, horribly human in its implications.

"Her figures occupy one's mind as a troubled extended family might. She explores strained, sometimes incestuous, relationships and her painted children share an unerving maturity. She appears like them - in a topsy-turvy way - a child-like grown up. But there is nothing innocent about her mind. She sees children as knowing without knowing, she beleives they are 'not boring, not tedious in any way; they don't impose. They know about things, they certainly know fear and don't pretend they don't.'

"Fear animates Rego's paintings; sometimes, I suggest, there is even a kind of glee in it. She disagrees. 'I think the fear comes in the act of doing the picture, in the physical act of painting. I am terrified it won't come off.' The painting begins in adrenaline: 'When you have an idea for a picture, you’re very, very excited. You don't want to cry or laugh but you want to get it down. You get someone to sit - it is a question of arrangement.' "

Kate Kellaway


Crumpled from the 'Guardian' series of the
Jane Eyre portfolio
Lithograph, 90.8 x 69.8cm

La ligue des Rats, from the 'Sensuality of the Stone' series of the Jane Eyre portfolio
Lithograph, 59 x 45.5cm