Paula Rego (Lisbon, 26 January 1935 – London, 8 June 2022) with her extraordinary imagination revolutionised figurative art and the representation of women.

The remarkable autobiographical nature of much of her work shows the socio-political context of her roots and the broad spectrum of her points of reference, from comics to history painting.

His paintings, collages and drawings from the 1960s and 1970s passionately and fiercely oppose the Portuguese dictatorship of the time, using a variety of sources of inspiration including advertisements, caricature and press reports.

Fascinated by storytelling throughout her career Rego immersed herself in the cruelty of traditional British nursery rhymes. As the first artist in residence at the National Gallery, she also draws inspiration from art history, alluding to masters such as Hogarth and Velázquez in paintings where the protagonists are women and the focus is on their struggle towards emancipation, as in her painting “The Artist in her Studio” from 1993.

Paula Rego participates as one of the most relevant artists in the current 59th edition of the Venice Biennale, exhibition “The Milk of Dreams” in the central pavilion. Rego lived and worked in London until her death on 8 June 2022.

Image: The artist in her studio, 1993. Acrylic painting on canvas. Author Paula Rego.

Leeds Museums and Galleries, United Kingdom/Bridgeman Images © Paula Rego