Paula Rego: Celestina’s House

Thursday, April 18, 2002
Sunday, July 14, 2002

Born in Portugal in 1935, Paula Rego studied at the Slade School in London and married the British painter Victor Willing. She has lived permanently in London since 1976 and is one of the most significant figurative artists working in Britain today. A consummate storyteller, Rego draws inspiration for her subversive and complex narratives of human behavior from books, films, folk legends, and fairytales, as well as memories of her own childhood and the history of art. Above all, Paula Rego addresses the experiences of women and their relationships with others, exploring themes of love and cruelty, desire and disgust, rebellion and domination.

Paula Rego: Celestina’s House focused on Rego’s latest work, and included most of her output from 1997 to 2001.

Rego does not regard herself as a painter per se, and is more interested in “drawing things.” During the 1990s she produced ambitious large-scale works using pastel, a medium which she prefers to oil paint. The exhibition showed preparatory drawings and prints alongside major finished pastels, providing a unique opportunity to examine Rego’s complex working processes.

Paula Rego, Getting Ready for the Ball (detail), 2001-02, lithograph, triptych, Yale Center for British Art, Friends of British Art Fun, © Paula Rego, Courtesy Marlborough Gallery, New York

Organized by the Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal, England, the exhibition was generously supported by Marlborough Fine Art (London) Ltd. with assistance from the British Council. The exhibition was curated at the Center by Gillian Forrester, Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings.


Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal:
June 11–October 7, 2001

Yale Center for British Art:
April 18–July 14, 2002