Paula Rego: The Art of Story
Deryn Rees-Jones, Marina Warner (foreword)
Thames & Hudson, 2019
A prolific painter and printmaker, Paula Rego (°1935) is an artist of astonishing power with a unique and unforgettable aesthetic. Capturing the extraordinary aspects of Rego’s work, author Deryn Rees-Jones places autobiographical narratives alongside stories suggested by Rego’s pictures. She explores their rich and textured layering of references to the old masters, fiction, fairytales, poems, the folk traditions of Rego’s native Portugal, politics, feminism, and more. The result is a highly original work that addresses urgent and topical questions on gender, subject and object, and self and other.
Taking its cues from the artist, this fascinating study invites us to reflect on the complexities of storytelling. Rooted in close interpretation of the artworks, we see how Rego’s art intersects with the work of other women artists, such as Cindy Sherman and Louise Bourgeois, as well as writers, from Charlotte Bronteë and Angela Carter to Franz Kafka and Martin McDonagh.
A definitive volume on the artist’s oeuvre, Paula Rego continues to raise questions, elevating it beyond a retrospective to something both provocative and authoritative.