I wonder if Eduardo Paolozzi and Paula Rego ever met. They were born only eleven years apart, Paolozzi in Leith (in 1924), Edinburgh, of Italian parents, and Rego in Lisbon Portugal in1935.
Both brought new bold, but different, dynamics into British art, Paolozzi’s work being very masculine and Rego’s focussed on feminist themes. What discussions they would have had if they had met…
They were together recently, until the exhibition ‘Obedience & Defiance’ closed on the 17th of March, at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh where Paolo’s works were shown in rooms alongside Paolozzi’s studio and his immense sculpture ‘Vulcan’ underneath his ceiling panels from Cleish Castle.
This major respective covering 50 years of Paolo Rego’s work filling the rooms of the early 19th century building not only provided a fascinating overview of her work which at times was challenging, intense, personal and disturbing, but, also through the themes that she portrayed, illustrated something of a side of Portuguese 20th century history that is little known in the UK, while it was good to see her drawings, many of which related to the paintings on show such as ‘Joseph’s Dream’.
This is an exhibition of such importance that it should have also been shown in London, especially as one of the most outstanding works was on loan from the Tate Gallery – her triptych inspired by Hogarth’s ‘Marriage a la Mode’.