Las Criadas, acrylic painting on paper and canvas signed by the Portuguese author in 1987. / SUR

Paula Rego spearheads the Picasso Museum's artistic programme

The Picasso museum in Malaga becomes a bastion for contemporary female art with an exhibition by Paula Rego


Almost as much has been written and said about Pablo Ruiz Picasso's relationship with women as about the artist's own work. Years ago, the Museo Picasso Málaga (MPM) even devoted an entire exhibition to try to confirm an axiom, rather debatable: that every time Picasso changed his companion, he also changed his artistic style.

However, about a decade ago, the museum changed its path and started concentrating on female artists themselves: Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Caminos de Vanguardia (between 2009 and 2010); Hilma af Klint, Pionera de la abstracción (2013-2014); 'Louise Bourgeois, He Estado en el Infierno y He Vuelto (2015); the collective exhibition Somos Plenamente Libres. Las Mujeres Artistas y el Surrealismo (2018) and Meret Oppenheim, Reflejo de una Época which became a digital project due to the pandemic.

Now the museum has gone one step further, making the works of the Portuguese artist Paula Rego, the spearhead for its artistic programme for 2022.

The exhibition by Rego, will be at the Picasso Museum Malaga from 27 April until August. It will be the first monographic exhibition by a living female artist at the museum, which has only featured four living male artists in the last twenty years (Bill Viola, Richard Prince, Bruce Nauman and James Turrell ).

Rego presents herself as an artist who "has revolutionised the representation of women," according to the museum. Her life has oscillated between Portugal and the UK, and she has exhibited in institutions like the Tate in Liverpool, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia and the Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris.

The MPM will be displaying 80 of her works which will include pieces from the 60s up to recent times with collages, paintings, large-format pastels, drawings and etchings.

Her paintings, collages and drawings from the 1960s and 1970s fiercely oppose the Portuguese dictatorship, using a variety of sources of inspiration including advertisements, caricatures and newspaper stories. "Folk tales are also explored as representations of the human psyche and behavior," added the MPM. "In 1980, Rego abandoned collage and returned to painting, combining childhood memories with her experiences as a woman, wife and lover."

Las Criadas (1987); Amor (1995) and Fuga (2009), are some of Rego's pieces that head the MPM project, with the addition of Nursery Rhymes, (1989); La Artista en su Estudio' (1993) and the pastel drawings createdin the last decade of the 20th century gathered together in a series such as Dog Woman and Abortion. This last group represents one of the most striking phases in Rego's extensive career.

The Rego exhibition will replace that of Brassaï and will co-exist with the Picasso exhibition Cara a Cara. Picasso y los Maestros Antiguos.