Paula Rego: Obedience and Defiance spans the artist’s entire career since the 1960s, and is the first major retrospective of Rego’s work in England for over 20 years. Included in the exhibition are previously unseen paintings, prints and works on paper from the artist’s family and close friends, which reflect Rego’s perspective as a woman immersed in urgent social issues and current affairs.
The selection of works focuses on the moral challenges to humanity, particularly in the face of violence, gender discrimination and political tyranny. There are paintings and etchings related to children sold into slavery in North Africa (1996-98), abortion (1998-2000) and female genital mutilation (from 2009). Many of the images begin with the artist’s Portuguese roots and childhood experiences or respond to current affairs.
The exhibition will travel to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh and to the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin where it will be the first ever retrospective of Rego’s work in Scotland and Ireland.