In February 2022 Arnolfini presented Subversive Stories, an exhibition of prints drawings and etching by world-renowned Portuguese artist Paula Rego. During the exhibition Aloys was involved in condition reporting artworks, wrote and presented tours and facilitated school and community group visits.
Scroll down to learn more about the exhibition.
Arnolfini welcome you to venture into the extraordinary imagination of Dame Paula Rego DBE RA, one of the leading figurative artists of our generation.
Rego makes a welcome return to Bristol (almost 40 years after her first exhibition here in 1982-83), creating an opportunity for a new generation of visitors to explore the artist’s rich and imaginative world. Featuring over 80 prints from across Rego’s extensive career, the exhibition explores her interweaving wit and dark humour, delving into the art of storytelling through Rego’s reinterpretations of well-known narratives and classic tales, repositioning the role of women at their centre.
Subversive Stories also looks deeper at Rego’s mastery of the printed medium, exploring the process of printmaking as it informs Rego’s multi-layered interpretations, bringing shadowy readings to childish mischief, whilst casting a light on present-day politics, most notably those affecting women.
Bringing together early examples of experiments in etching and lithography, her much-loved series Nursery Rhymes, Peter Pan, Jane Eyre and the Pendle Witches, and less familiar stories, such as The Prince Pig and The Curved Planks, Rego pulls us into a world of not so ‘wicked’ women, childhood adventure, and folklore and fairy tales, in which the underdog reigns supreme, as Rego reinforces her reputation, taking ‘the side of the beauty not the beast.’

About Paula Rego:

Paula Rego was born in Lisbon in 1935. After attending finishing school in Kent, England, she studied at the Slade School of Art in London between 1952–56. In 1957 she returned to live in Portugal with her husband, the painter Victor Willing, and their three children, before finally settling in London in 1963. Rego came to prominence in Britain after her first major solo exhibition at the Air Gallery, London, in 1981 and subsequently at the Serpentine Gallery, London in 1988, which was followed by her becoming the first National Gallery artist in residence in 1990.
In 2009 The Casa das Histórias, a museum dedicated to Rego, opened as a permanent home to the artist’s entire collection of over 200 prints alongside drawings, preparatory works and paintings loaned by the artist.
Major solo exhibitions and retrospectives have been key to Rego’s extensive career, with her work housed in major public and museum collections all over the world.
Rego explores themes of power, rebellion, sexuality and gender, grief and poverty, often through female protagonists. One of the most important figurative artists of her generation, her work ranges from painting, pastel, and prints to sculptural installations.
Paula Rego is represented by Cristea Roberts Gallery, the worldwide representative for her original prints and Victoria Miro, representatives of original works.
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