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And a major career retrospective at Tate Britain that opened on Wednesday is the third organized by the museum group, after a smaller display at Tate Britain in and a show at Tate Liverpool in The retrospective is the biggest exhibition of her work to date in Britain, a country where the Portuguese-born artist has lived, on and off, since the s.
The show, which runs through Oct. When she was 16, her parents sent her to a finishing school in Kent, in southern England, and in the early s, she studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London.
Collage offered a way out of this brittle kind of image making. FromRego began cutting up newspapers and magazines, as well as her own drawings, and layering the pieces onto canvas. Both were included in her first solo exhibition, at the Modern Art Gallery of the National Society of Fine Arts in Lisbon ina show that shocked many of her contemporaries.
The exhibition peaks with a central room of Rego paintings from the late s, made when she was caring for Willing in the last years of his life. These are suffocating scenes, lit with the raking sunlight of a Gimp interrogation stories de Chirico painting and infused with the fetishistic menace of a David Lynch film.
Then, inRego began using pastel, and the tone of her work changed drastically. All the strength and brilliance of acrylic paint fades into a material with the drab associations of amateur portraits, or the prurient gaze of Edgar Degas.
When Rego depicts an assistant enacting 19th-century photographs of hysterical women, it is interesting conceptually, but feels muted and reminiscent of other London School painters, most notably Lucian Freudwho taught at the Slade when Rego was a student there. This is painting with the subversive edge of a contemporary fable, fresh from the imaginative depths of a wicked national treasure.Gimp interrogation stories
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