Yale Bulletin and Calendar

April 12, 2002Volume 30, Number 25

"Celestina's House," the title work for the exhibition of works by Paula Rego that will open April 18 at the Yale Center for British Art, explores one of the artist's favorite themes, depicting women and their relationship with others -- in this case a matriarch and her family. The Yale museum will be the only U.S. venue for this show of works by Rego, who says she does not think of herself as a traditional artist, but as someone who just likes "drawing things."

Exhibition features art by 'consummate storyteller'

"Paula Rego: Celestina's House," the first major U.S. exhibition by one of the foremost figurative and narrative artists working in Britain today, will open on Thursday, April 18, at the Yale Center for British Art.

The Yale museum is the only North American venue for the show, which features about 90 works, many of which Rego created during the past four years and which have never been viewed outside of Britain. The exhibit will continue through July 14.

Described as a "consummate storyteller," Rego creates works that illuminate aspects of human behavior. She draws her inspiration from books, films, folk legends and fairy tales, as well as memories of her own childhood and the history of art. She is particularly interested in portraying the experience of women and their relationships to others, and her works explore themes of love and cruelty, desire and disgust, rebellion and domination. In the exhibit's title work, "Celestina's House," Rego explores the complexities of matriarchal and familial relationships.

Born in Portugal, Rego studied at the Slade School in England and has made London her permanent residence since 1976. The artist, who has said she likes working "on the edge," has tackled several difficult subjects. The exhibit at the British Art Center will include a group of works produced in 1998 as a response to Portugal's referendum on the legalization of abortion, as well as "The Interrogator's Garden," an investigation of human cruelty and indifference that was inspired by the Foundation of Victims of Torture.

The show will also include a new series of pastels and lithographs that were completed just before the Yale opening -- the theme of which will only be revealed when the show debuts.

The artist has said she does not consider herself a traditional painter and is more interested in "drawing things." She likens the creative process to an "adventure," saying: "First of all it is like this: piece of paper and pencil and you find an image in your head, behind your ear somewhere. You put it down and something suggests something else and then, afterwards, when you go over it with the pen and ink you change it again. So there is constant change, adjustment, and so on ... the drawing is where the story and the picture develop, really."

The exhibition will include a number of Rego's original drawings alongside the finished works, notes Gillian Forrester, associate curator of prints and drawings at the British Art Center and the show's in-house curator. "The inclusion of the preliminary drawings for the major works will provide a unique insight into the way Paula Rego allows her images to evolve, and I believe visitors to the exhibition will benefit greatly by the opportunity to observe her complex and fascinating working processes, which are typically very private."

The artist will discuss her work with the exhibition's curator at an event titled "Paula Rego in Conversation with Fiona Bradley," which will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17, at the McNeil Lecture Hall of the Yale University Art Gallery (enter on High Street). The program, which is free and open to the public, is supported by the Yale School of Art and Jonathan Edwards College.

In conjunction with the Yale exhibit, there will also be a film series, "Paula Rego: Artist's Choice," featuring works the artist considers to have been influential on her own work, June 22-July 13; a concert titled "Sol y Canto" ("Sun and Song") on June 28; and a pastel workshop for children and adults June 23-29. Further information about these activities will appear in future issues of the Yale Bulletin & Calendar.

"Paula Rego: Celestina's House" is organized by the Abbot Hall Art Gallery and Museum in Kendal, England. The exhibit is supported by Marlborough Fine Art (London) Ltd., with assistance from the British Council.

The Yale Center for British Art, located at 1080 Chapel St., is open to the public free of charge 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. The museum is wheelchair accessible. For further information, call (203) 432-2800 or access the museum's website at www.yale.edu/ycba.


Zedillo named head of Center for Study of Globalization

Other International Initiatives at Yale University

SOM Institute to explore how corporations are regulated by world's governments

Journalists covering Latin America will discuss the region's 'global reach'

HUD secretary to visit as a Chubb Fellow

Visiting architect describes his creative process

In Focus: Yale Recycling

Exhibition features art by 'consummate storyteller'

Peabody receives grant for Machu Picchu exhibit

Difficult quest for black education explored in forum

Noted psychologist Neal E. Miller, pioneerin research on brain and behavior, dies

Study estimates the likelihood of stroke in elderly patients who have had heart attacks

Biotechnology companies are thriving in Connecticut with help from Yale science

Lecture to explore how biomaterials 'will change our lives'

Conference on 'God and the Ethics of Belief' pays tribute . . .

Event to explore latest research on mental illness

Gustav Ranis reappointed as Henry R. Luce Director of YCIAS

'Hot Flashes' explores world of womanhood after 50

Museum spearheading annual cleanup of New Haven Harbor

At the powwow

Transatlantic polo

Campus Notes

Bulletin Home|Visiting on Campus|Calendar of Events|In the News|Bulletin Board

Yale Scoreboard|Classified Ads|Search Archives|Deadlines

Bulletin Staff|Public Affairs Home|News Releases| E-Mail Us|Yale Home Page