Paula Rego

In May 1988, the Main Gallery of the Main Building hosted the first survey exhibition of the work of painter Paula Rego (b. 1935), spanning 35 years of the artist’s work. While the CAM is currently closed, each month we invite you to revisit an exhibition from the past.
27 apr 2022

The exhibition Paula Rego opened in May 1988 in the Main Gallery of the Main Building. It covered 35 years of the work of this Lisbon-born artist who lives in London, with particular emphasis on her recent production. The works on display were selected by Rego herself, along with the art critic and historian Ruth Rosengarten, who had followed and studied the artist’s work.


Paula Rego, 'Contos Populares Portugueses: Branca Flor – boy gambling with the devil', 1974. Inv. DP241
Paula Rego, 'Contos Populares Portugueses: os dois vizinhos – two men separeted by a river of blood', 1975. Inv. DP239
Paula Rego, 'Contos Populares Portugueses: o diabo gato – three little devils wrapped in white thread', 1975. Inv. DP240


The exhibition was set out chronologically, so as to define the diverse phases of the artist’s career, which reveal constant experimentation and the introduction and abandonment of different processes, forms and themes, but also to allow for the emergence of certain relationships and crossovers between works from different periods.



The works were grouped according to media, processes and languages, but in an open way that didn’t impose a rigid linear route. The exhibition thus revealed the development of Paula Rego’s work from the moment the artist discovered the work of Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985) and ‘the drawings began to come from inside, directly, with nothing in the middle,’ moving on to the ‘cut-out’ phase, which reached its high point with the work Os Cães de Barcelona (The Dogs of Barcelona, 1965), until the period when collage made way for painting and the artist produced her series on animals, operas and the Vivian Girls (1988).

This exhibition was later taken to Porto, in June the same year, where it was shown at the Casa de Serralves.

História das Exposições

On the digital catalogue you can explore the 1343 exhibitions held by the Foundation between 1957 and 2016.

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