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Paula Rego/ Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro
11th of December 2014 to 2nd of August 2015

Curator: Catarina Alfaro

This exhibition was drawn up within the broad context of indirect references by Paula Rego, and from the outset was structured based on a non-illustrative dialogue between the works of these two artists who used attentive observation of daily life to transmit a critical view of the Portuguese life and customs of their times. Paula Rego and Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro, separated by over a century and by the unique characteristics of their individual expression, use their artistic production as a privileged means of socio-political denouncing.

ParodiesRafael Bordalo Pinheiro, O Janeiro, Pub. A Paródia, No. 53, 16-01-1901

The opera and the theatre are artistic dimensions often called upon by each of them, thus creating sometimes disconcerting parallels between life and the stage, calling up tragi-comic dynamics between animalised human characters and humanised animals. It is this ambiguous and complex universe of interaction among humans, animals, vegetables and hybrids that at first glance seem to relate the two artists' creative universes. However, that which brings them both close is not so much the subject matter they deal with nor the way they technically developed them. What unites them is unequivocally the fact that both Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro and Paula Rego made their artistic production an element for diluting hierarchies and of differentiation between erudite and popular art, always in communication with the present time through their critical, often biting and socially intervening voices.

Bordalo Pinheiro's caricaturing gaze that ridiculed the world of the politics and customs of Portuguese life is the expression of his free thinking more than a manifesto of his intentions to transform society. Paula Rego's work often places her beyond explicit denunciation and transmits the imperious need for a change in mentalities.