Paula Rego Likes to Work

“Possession I,” from 2004. Art work © Paula Rego / Courtesy Collection Fundação de Serralves, Museu de Arte Contemporânea.

Portuguese-born artist Paula Rego (b. 1935) studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, London. She lives in the UK.

Quotable saying: “Doing work, that is to say, drawing, is an erotic activity.”

Anna Russell writes that the urgency of Rego’s work “in all its savage, tactile vitality” is keenly apparent in her large pastel portraits.

The Pillowman,” from 2004. Art work © Paula Rego.

After years of collage, oil paint, and acrylic, switching to pastel was a revelation. (She has called the stick “fiercer, much more aggressive” than the brush.)

(Anna Russell, “The Fury and Mischief of Paula Rego,” The New Yorker, 7-7-21)

I’m intrigued by the skewed angles in both paintings; the prominence of the sofa in “Possession I”; that of weirdly inexplicable objects and detail in “The Pillowman.” Is the latter a surreal takeoff on descent from the cross?

(c) 2021 JMN — EthicalDative. All rights reserved

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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5 Responses to Paula Rego Likes to Work

  1. What an interesting artist – I agree with you about the skewed angles that create a slightly discomforting feeling. It’s also interesting to see pastels being used like this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think Plato said the same thing… which he would have banned in his republic.

    Liked by 1 person

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