This is a exhibition fantastic, in both senses of the word, which at the same time you delights, surprises you, impresses you, intrigue you. The women there are queens, even if they crawl and bark like dogs, act of cruelty by curiosity or inadvertence, such as children who torture the grasshoppers in order to understand their movement. These statues without weakness keep a grace of the princess in spite of their wide feet and their calves, powerful peasant. They dance in the moonlight, proud and steadfast inheritors of the witches of Goya which one feels the power and threat deaf ( The Dance , 1988, Tate, London). As in The Fountain or Gustave Doré, the animals play the role of the human. A table to the other, all the characters in Paula Rego, very ingrown and completely outside of codes, which tell stories, like the tales of the evening and the oral tradition of the peoples, since the dawn of time.

The formats are great, the safe technique, the composition is subtly ambiguous, and always theatrical as a heavy curtain on an old secret ( The Daughter of the policeman , 1987, whose bare arm spit cavalièrement the boot black of the father). The audacity that distorts the aspect ratio is completely assumed, symbolic, in the line of the grotesque and surrealism ( The Family , 1988, and his father reduced to the state of a model by a gynoecium all-powerful). This very personal language induces the life in these characters, familiar and distant, beautiful and ugly at the same time, too large or too small, like Alice in wonderland trying to grab his key. This distortion of the forms gives rise to a certain magical realism ( The Small Deadly , 1987, with its young heroine with the green ribbon).

cheeky charm

The world of the artist, 83-year-old operates powerfully. It has its charm intact and a cheeky, behind-the-ways courteous, and the wear of age.

The painted world of Dame Paula Rego operates powerfully. It looks like this artist, 83-year-old charm intact, and a cheeky, behind-the-ways courteous, and the wear of age. It is a concentrated magic and games. A collection of literary references ( Jane Eyre if the fiction of Charlotte Brontë, 1847, and his reading reverse by the subtle Jean Rhys in The Prisoner of the Sargasso sea , 1966), and pictorial, noble or mocking (of Manet and Goya, James Ensor and Odilon Redon). Of the direct feedback to his childhood in portugal, its workers and workers with large hands and the caps tight, its coast ocean as the mist invaded in summer, and the night alive with ghosts. With a talent, while also decided that the hand of its artist, Cécile Debray, director of the Orangerie Museum and the curator of this exhibition, provides a portrait of the long course of a painter. It doesn’t happen by accident from the sky. He enrolled at the crossroads of cultures, drawing its themes here, his palette here, its readings in the north, his memories in the south. Goya and his etchings stunning, Manet, and his Raven black hell, Degas and his dancers. Paula Rego finds its place, without being small, in the long history of the item

The cruel story of Paula Rego , to the Museum of the Orangerie, in the Tuileries garden, place de la Concorde (Ier). Tel.: 01 44 77 80 07. Opening hours: from 9 h to 18 h everyday. except the mar. Until 14 jan. Cat.: The cruel story of Paula Rego, under the direction of Cécile Debray, director of the Orangerie (a co-publication Musée d’orsay / Flammarion, 208 pages, € 39).

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