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1961: Order and Chaos


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Todos os dias das 10h às 19h00 (Horário Verão)

In May of this year, Casa das Histórias Paula Rego (Paula Rego House of Stories), organises the exhibition called 1961: Order and Chaos. This exhibition displays, for the first time, a broad collection of Paula Rego's work produced during the 1960s and 1970s in an effort to document and analyse the beginning of her artistic path and the impact it made on the Portuguese panorama of the time.
The work conceived by Paula Rego during these years calls up the country's political situation, where she commented upon it sarcastically and brutally. Upon stressing this thematic direction, the political unease running through the artist's work became further entrenched particularly during this period but also during later stages in her production.

Apart from Paula Rego's work, the work of other Portuguese artists is also shown. They too adopted a critical stance in relation to the country's political situation and its social and cultural life, while at the same time they developed their own figurative language: they are the artists Bartolomeu Cid dos Santos and Eduardo Batarda. The connection is therefore explored between diverse, innovating kinds of research into the figurative field as from the 1960s together with political, social and cultural commentary.

Furthermore, the exhibition includes Victor Willing's work (taken from the Casa das Histórias collection) which reveals the artistic, intimate complicity that he established with Paula Rego. Considered at the Slade School of Art to be a "spokesman for his generation" owing to his intellectual brilliance, right from the start of Paula Rego's academic training, Willing became her guiding reference, her most immediate link to the artistic milieu of the time.

Apart from displaying the paintings, engravings and drawings, there is also a part of the exhibition which comprises documentary evidence thereby recalling in a most forceful way, the most important milestones in Paula Rego's artistic career in Portugal: her first public exhibition in our country (1961), a scholarship she received from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (1962-1963) and her first solo exhibition held at the National Society of Fine Arts in Lisbon (1965). The initiatives held by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation exerted a clear impact on Paula Rego's career and they are also reflected in this historical panorama.

The exhibition is curated by Catarina Alfaro (Chief Curator at Casa das Histórias) and Leonor de Oliveira (Researcher at the Instituto de História de Arte da FCSH-Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Institute of Art History FCSH).

This will also be the opportunity to present, for the first time to the public, a small notebook of 13 drawings from the Museum's collection, representing boats, animals and especially vacationers by Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro, created between the 18th and 27th of September 1919, when this great figure of Portuguese painting spent a brief vacation in Cascais at the invitation of his friend and disciple, Romano Esteves.


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