Paula Rego, the internationally acclaimed Portuguese-born British artist known for her deeply rooted and disturbing work, has died aged 87.
The Victoria Miro gallery announced Rego’s death on Wednesday, saying: “She passed away peacefully this morning, after a short illness, at home in North London, surrounded by her family. Our sincere thoughts are with them.”
The painter, who recently had a retrospective at the Tate Britain, rose to prominence after exhibiting with David Hockney at the London Group in the 1960s. In the years that followed, her career focused on women’s rights, and abortion in particular.
Raised in a privileged family in Portugal under Salazar’s fascist dictatorship, Rego was fascinated by fairy tales and her political paintings encompassed themes of power, property, youth and sexual transgression.
In a 2019 interview with The Guardian, Rego, who had previously spoken about her own abortions, said that “making abortion illegal forces women into the slum solution”.
She added: “I do what I can with my job, but both men and women have to be up to it. It also affects men. You’re not going to get pregnant on your own, are you?’
More details coming soon…