A mono etching and aquatint. In the foreground are two young girls, one sat astride a large dog, her feet on the ground. Behind her is another girl, hand held to her mouth as if whispering to the other. Both wear white blouses with frilled, sleeves, cropped at the shoulder. The dog has its ears pulled back and looks alarmed. In the distant background is another girl, with large spear in hand striding forth wearing a short, white dress. Following behind are two large, dark dogs, pictured either side of the girls in the foreground.

Paula Rego

Saturday, 5th February 2022 to Sunday, 29th May 2022, 11:00 to 18:00
Booking available from January 2022.
Free entry. Exhibition slots will be bookable in advance. Walk-ins may be available on the day. → Book

Young Predators (from Girl and Dog series) Paula Rego 1987
Courtesy Paula Rego and Cristea Roberts Gallery, London ©️ Paula Rego


Unarguably one of the most important figurative artists of her generation, Arnolfini welcome you to venture into the extraordinary imagination of Dame Paula Rego RA.

Featuring over 70 prints from across Rego’s extensive career, the exhibition enters into a world where she interweaves her wit and dark humour to reimagine classic tales, creating surreal and subversive stories with not so ‘wicked’ women at their heart.

Exploring printmaking as a process that informs Rego’s multi-layered interpretations, the exhibition looks deeper at Rego’s mastery of the medium (encompassing lithography, etching and screen print) as printmaking takes on a metaphorical meaning, bringing shadowy readings to childish mischief, whereas as the harrowing practices of illegal abortion or female genital mutilation are brought out into the light.

Following on from the largest retrospective to date of the artist’s work at Tate Britain (July to October 2021), Rego makes a very welcome return to Arnolfini almost 40 years after her first exhibition with the gallery (in 1982-83), creating an opportunity for a new generation of visitors to explore the artist’s subversive stories.


About Paula Rego:
Paula Rego was born in Lisbon in 1935. After attending finishing school in Kent, England, she studied at the Slade School of Art in London between 1952–56. In 1957 she returned to live in Portugal with her husband, the painter Victor Willing, and their three children, before finally settling in London in 1963. Rego came to prominence in Britain after her first major solo exhibition at the Air Gallery, London, in 1981 and subsequently at the Serpentine Gallery, London in 1988, which was followed by her becoming the first National Gallery artist in residence in 1990.

In 2009 The Casa das Histórias, a museum dedicated to Rego, opened as a permanent home to the artist’s entire collection of over 200 prints alongside drawings, preparatory works and paintings loaned by the artist.

Major solo exhibitions and retrospectives have been key to Rego’s extensive career, with her work housed in major public and museum collections all over the world.

Rego explores themes of power, rebellion, sexuality and gender, grief and poverty, often through female protagonists. One of the most important figurative artists of her generation, her work ranges from painting, pastel, and prints to sculptural installations.

Paula Rego is represented by Cristea Roberts Gallery, the worldwide representative for her original prints and Victoria Miro, representatives of original works.


From Cristea Roberts Gallery, Making a Mark, a new podcast series exploring the relationship between artists and printmaking.

Listen to Making a Mark / Paula Rego: One of the greatest figurative artists of her generation, who places women at the centre of her work (audioboom.com) here

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