Artist Paula Rego selects art works from the British Council Collection for this Whitechapel Gallery exhibition.
The artist has delved deep into the Collection to curate an exhibition of over 50 works dating from start of the 20th Century, most of them works on paper - prints, drawings and photographs. Beginning with the work of Sickert and his unvarnished depictions of bedroom encounters in north London, the exhibition includes nudes by Gwen John and Wyndham Lewis, rarely seen early photographs by Cecil Beaton, scurrilous watercolours by Edward Burra, Graham Sutherland’s wartime gouaches of tin mining in Cornwall and Lucian Freud’s etchings of young girls.
In discussing her selection, the artist has said that many of her choices seem to be about people being on the brink of something - adolescence, sexual encounters, growing up, growing old, or falling off the cliff. The narrative and biographical traits in her own work are also echoed in her selection, from Hockney’s illustrations of the Brothers Grimm's Fairy Tales to the photographs of Madame Yevonde, one of the pioneers of colour photography in Britain.
Paula Rego is known for complex paintings that unfashionably tell tales, and weave complex narratives around themes common to all of us: birth, death, love, sex. She tells these stories with unmitigated glee, and in this exhibition some of her zest and relish come through in her choice of works. Pulling works out of the Collection which have rarely been seen before, Rego has stayed true to her heart, placing her personal and highly individual stamp on the British Council Collection.
Paula Rego is one of the leading figurative artists working today, producing richly imaginative art rooted in evocative memories, fantasy and literature. Born in Portugal she now lives and works in London. Rego was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1995. A new museum dedicated exclusively to her work, La Casa das Histórias, opened in Cascais, near Lisbon, Portugal in September 2009.
Click HERE to visit the Flickr page for the exhibition in Macedonia.