Art Madrid'23 – Paula Rego: spaces of disobedience




Jane Eyre Series. `Inspectión', 2001




Paula Rego was born in Lisbon in 1935 but she settled in London from the 50s, fact that did not separate her from her portuguese roots or the political worries of his country. Her early pieces use an abstract language, but she early defined her recognizable and personal style influenced by other artists (Bacon, Freud, Solana, Hogarth, Goya, etc.) and writers (Charlotte Brontë, Pérez Galdós and Martin McDonagh).




Abortion series, `Untitled´, 1998




Paula Rego´s artwork could be read as a great fable on human behaviour, where edifying morals doesn't exist. Throughout her subjects, many times hybridized, women-brid, women-dog, she reflects on cultural legacy of the patriarchy; and they speak out against the aggressions perpetrated by the hierarchies of power.




"The pillow man", 2004




The exhibition is organized in fifteen rooms, where Rego´s imaginary expresses. She takes a stand against the hypocrisy of bourgeois decorum; against women discrimination, by encouraging them to express their disobedient character, make their voices heard, ignoring male judgement; against traditional children’s stories, that she resignifies; against the abuse of power of any kind, that results in estrangement or subjugation; against private and social conflicts, through grotesque stories of black humour inspired by literature; against unwanted oppression exerted by political figures from Portugal history, etc.




"Snow White Playing with her Father's Trophies", 1995




All of this offers a view of Paula Rego´s critical thinking. Through her paintings, drawings and prints she invites visitor to reflect with her. It can be highlighted her series on the subject of abortion, which she made after a referendum that was held on decriminalising it in Portugal, in 1998, Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë, and Misericordia, by Benito Pérez Galdós. And other artworks such as The Pillowman, Scarecrow or The Old Republic, all of them with a clear interest in fighting social injustices.




"Shakespeare's room", 2006



In the year 2020 in the heart of Barcelona a wandering gallery was born, the same one that in February 2021 would debut at Art Madrid with an exhibition proposal focused on contemporary portraits; with this subject matter it would manage to create a powerful dialogue between artwork and audience and make the seal Inéditad remain in the history of the event that contained it.

Jean Carlos Puerto. Protección. Oil and copper leaf on wood. 60 x 48. 2021. Image courtesy of the gallery.

Since that first time and until today, the wandering gallery has managed to build projects on otherness, has repositioned in the spotlight the discourses on the LGTBIQ+ collective, has consolidated a group of artists who share its principles of resilience and empathy and the best thing is that it continues to bet from the professionalism and commitment to give voice to the difference.

Claudio Petit-Laurent.. El Joven de la Perla. Oil on wood. 30 x 30 cm. 2023. Image courtesy of the gallery.

Inéditad Gallery, thanks to its founder Luis López, its collaborators and the infinite possibilities manifested in the works of the artists it represents, is a gallery that has demonstrated its capacity and courage to stimulate the sensibility of the public through art and seduce a generation that moves between the glass window and the analogical story. Inéditad is a nomadic gallery that has gathered around it a community of artists and has moved the context with exhibition projects that think about LGTBIQ+ art without prejudices.

Pepa Salas Vilar. Las marcas del arcoiris. Oil on canvas. 40 x 50 cm. 2022. Image courtesy of the gallery.

Pride and Prejudice was inaugurated. An exhibition that brings together the works of sixteen artists: Abel Carrillo, Alex Domènech, Carlos Enfedaque, Silvia Flechoso, Jamalajama, Daniel Jaén, Claudio Petit-Laurent, Jean Carlos Puerto, Fernando Romero, Pablo Rodríguez, Pepa Salas Vilar, Jack Smith, Pablo Sola, Bran Sólo, Elia Tomás and Utürüo. Painting, illustration, photography and digital art are the manifestations that bring into dialogue around fifty neatly threaded pieces, in a discursive line that discusses such a latent phenomenon as discrimination. To achieve this, the artists invited to the exhibition question themselves whether: Does discrimination exist within the LGTBIQ+ collective?

Pride and Prejudice Official Poster. Image courtesy of the gallery.

With approaches on and from the body, the proposal invites to celebrate diversity, proposes to question and self-question the prejudices and attitudes of society against the collective. Pride and Prejudice is a space for dialogue about the constructs imposed on us by society. It is also an oasis in which to deconstruct with tolerance and respect the subjectivities that sometimes prevent us from approaching the production of the participating artists, simply because "the beautiful" does not fit in an androgynous body. The subjugation of stereotypes are pressed with determination to find the beauty of diversity in other palpable facets of reality.

Pablo Sola. All men are dogs. Photography. 2014. Image courtesy of the gallery.

Throughout these three years Inéditad has stimulated the vindictive projection towards bad practices, has questioned estates around the LGTBIQ+ body and the most admirable thing, is that these capacities have resurfaced around the dialogue and the visual narrative of the stories that are told from the visual: Artworks that are people, art that is, per se, humanity. Overcome impositions and accept what is different in order to continue fighting against homophobia, biphobia, lesbophobia or transphobia and defend the equal rights that all the acronyms of the collective deserve in our community.

That's Pride and Prejudice: One creature, the happiest in the world. And maybe other projects and other people have said it - or felt it - before, but none so fairly.

Silvia Flechoso. Hola, soy maricón. Oil on canvas. 73 x 54 cm. 2023. Image courtesy of the gallery.

From June 8th until June 22nd you can visit Pride and Prejudice. Carrer de Palau núm. 4. Canal Gallery space. Barcelona.