Dame Paula Rego was born in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1935. She is a painter of “stories”, her characters enact a variety of roles and depict disquieting tensions below the surface. Her large pastel paintings and sharply drawn etchings are psychologically charged depictions of human dramas and narratives.
Rego studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, London (1952–56), and has received honorary doctorates from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, the University of East Anglia, Norwich, the Rhode Island School of Design, USA, The London Institute, Roehampton University, London, and Oxford University. In 2010 she was created a Dame of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, and won the Mapfre Foundation Drawing Prize, Madrid (2010).
Notable exhibitions include: CalousteGulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon (1988); Serpentine Gallery, London (1988); Tate Liverpool, Liverpool (1997); Dulwich Picture Gallery, London (1998); Yale Center for British Art, New Haven (2001); Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto (2004); Tate Britain, London (2005); MuseoNacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2007); National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C. (2008); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2010).
Image © Nick Willing. Courtesy of the artist and Marlborough Fine Art