Victoria Miro is delighted to announce the representation of Paula Rego. This new collaboration with the artist will be marked by a major exhibition at the gallery during the latter part of 2021. Works by the artist will feature in the gallery’s presentation for Frieze London 2020 (9–16 October; previews 7–8 October).
An artist of uncompromising vision and a peerless storyteller, Paula Rego has since the 1950s brought immense psychological insight and imaginative power to the genre of figurative art. Drawing upon details of her own extraordinary life, on politics and art history, on literature, folk legends, myths and fairytales, Rego’s work at its heart is an exploration of human relationships, her piercing eye trained on the established order and the codes, structures and dynamics of power that embolden or repress the characters she depicts. Often turning hierarchies on their heads, her tableaux, whether tender or tragic, consider the complexities of human experience and the experience of women in particular. She is especially celebrated for works that forcibly address aspects of female agency and resolve, suffering and survival, such as the Dog Women series, begun in 1994, the Abortion series, 1998–99, which is considered to have influenced Portugal’s successful second referendum on the legalisation of abortion in 2007, and the recent series Female Genital Mutilation, 2008–09. Next year, the largest and most comprehensive retrospective of Rego’s work to date will take place at Tate Britain (16 June–24 October 2021).
Rego’s art transcends the art world. She is heralded as a feminist icon and is a household name. In her native Portugal the government commissioned the celebrated architect Eduardo Souto de Moura to design and build a museum dedicated exclusively to her work – Paula Rego’s House of Stories, situated in Cascais, which opened to the public in 2009. In the UK, where she has lived since 1951, attending the Slade School of Fine Art from 1952–56, her first major solo exhibition in London was held at AIR Gallery in 1981, followed in 1988 by an exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery. She was appointed the first National Gallery Associate Artist in 1989–90. She has been the subject of numerous books and TV programmes, including Paula Rego, Secrets & Stories, a BBC documentary directed by the artist’s son Nick Willing, which won the Royal Television Award for Best Arts Program in 2018, and The Southbank Show in 1992 and 2007. Her art continues to have an enduring influence upon younger generations, who are introduced to her work through the GCSE syllabus. In 2010 she was made a Dame of The British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Victoria Miro said, ‘I have greatly admired Paula Rego for many years. She is a fearless artist who paints life and the world head-on. Her work resonates today more powerfully than ever and I am excited to bring it to new audiences. It is an immense privilege to represent her and I look forward to entering this exciting new chapter together.’
Paula Rego said, ‘I am very excited to join Victoria Miro’s gallery. I have known Victoria for many years and have always been a great admirer of her and her beautiful galleries. I believe that Victoria really understands my work so I hope that this will prove to be a long and happy relationship.’
Original works by Paula Rego will be represented by Victoria Miro. Prints by Paula Rego will be represented by Cristea Roberts Gallery.
Image: Portrait of Paula Rego, London
Photograph: © Nick Willing, 2020