Dame with the goat's foot and other stories
The Directors of Marlborough Fine Art are delighted to announce their forthcoming exhibition of new paintings and hand coloured etchings by Paula Rego.
The centre piece of the exhibition will be a series of six large pastels inspired by Alexandre Herculano’s 19th century story, A Dama Pé-de-Cabra, romance de um jogral (The Goat-Footed Lady, romance of a minstrel), a powerful and captivating tale originally dating back to the XIth Century. This series was shown in collaboration with Adriana Molder (b. 1975) at the Casa das Historias Paula Rego in Cascais from July – October 2012.
Paula Rego has said that her art deals with “the beautiful grotesque”—a contradiction in terms, a synthesis of opposites, at once ironic and absurd--but the figures in her visual re-telling of “Dama per de cabre” however obviously grotesque some are—distorted into unnatural ugliness, so that they seem irreparably monstrous—remain all-too-human, all the more so because they are emotionally unsavoury not simply physically strange. The Goat-Feet Lady is the devil in female form—her goat-feet betray her devilishness, and confirm that the devil is a hybrid of animal and human, strange but after all not so strange, for the devil is also a hybrid of male and female. Like the equally absurd Sphinx, the Goat-Feet Lady is a surreal creature who lives in the dark grotto of the unconscious, but comes to light in dreams.
The eight new paintings that Paula has produced are inspired by different subjects including the poem Do you remember an Inn, Miranda? by Hilaire Belloc and Pierrot from the Commedia dell’Arte.
Paula will also be exhibiting for the first time one of the sculptural maquettes, The Playground, that she constructs to create her pastels.
A fully illustrated catalogue of the exhibition will be published with an introduction by Donald Kuspitt.