Paula Rego (Modern Artists)

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Rego draws on well-known sources, including literature, fairy tales, religious stories and cartoons, to give her paintings strong narrative element that draws in the viewer. However, the stories being told are often hard to read as they are subverted to produce an enigmatic, dreamlike atmosphere, influenced by Rego's interest in surrealism. Multiple levels of reference and symbolism both build up and frustrate expectations. Key motifs (dogs, young girls, dominant father figures, claustrophobic family scenes) recur, creating a uniquely personal iconography. She is widely regarded as one of the leading representational artists working today. This book provides a chronological survey of Rego's life and pictorial concerns, drawing heavily on her own assessments of works as revealed in recent interviews. Certain works, illustrating key moments in the development of her practice, are discussed individually, in depth. Making use of her extensive professional and personal involvement with Paula Rego and her work, Fiona Bradley provides the essential key to this mysterious yet hugely popular artist. This title forms part of Tate Publishing's new Modern Artists series.