Young Predators

Paula Rego (1935 - 2022)

Etching and aquatint

1987

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© Paula Rego

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  • About the work
    Two youth scantily clad in draped cloth whisper to each other, as one of the figures straddles a large dog. Further animals – one appearing like a monkey, and the other a wolf – populate the background, alongside a third figure who leads them away with a walking stick. A ‘painter of stories’ celebrated for her dark, complex paintings, prints, drawings, and collages, Paula Rego draws upon folk and fairytales, literature, and her own biography to create politically charged, deeply unsettling tableaux. Her forceful compositions are imbued with cruelty – both subtle and overt – and permeated with a sense of unease and ambiguity. Foregrounding women and girls, and often using animals as stand-ins for humans, she depicts dysfunctional family relationships, political systems, and social structures.
    This etching with aquatint is part of the Artists’ Choice portfolio, a series of 48 works by artist alumni from the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London. The portfolio was produced in 1987 to celebrate the RCA’s 150th anniversary and included leading figures in British printmaking. Since the late 1940s, the RCA’s printmaking department has developed a renowned reputation for the teaching and encouragement of innovative printmaking techniques, from etching and aquatinting to screenprinting.
  • About the artist
    Paula Rego was born in Lisbon in 1935. The subjects of her works explore human relationships, often influenced by her childhood memories of Portugal. She trained at the Slade School in London (1952–56) and met the painter Victor Willing. After marrying, they lived in Portugal from 1957–63. After his death, Rego settled in London in 1988 and that year, major shows featured at the Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon and the Serpentine Gallery. Her show, Nursery Rhymes toured internationally (1991–96) and retrospectives were held in Liverpool and Lisbon (1997). In 1998 a solo exhibition was held at Dulwich Picture Gallery. Rego’s works are held in international collections including the Tate, London and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
  • Explore
    Places
    Subjects
    dog, girl, walking stick
    Materials & Techniques
    etching, aquatint
  • Details
    Title
    Young Predators
    Portfolio Title
    Artists' Choice
    Edition
    45/48
    Date
    1987
    Medium
    Etching and aquatint
    Dimensions
    height: 30.50 cm, width: 30.50 cm
    Acquisition
    Purchased from the Royal College of Art, November 2007
    Inscription
    below image: 45/48 / Paula Rego
    Provenance
    Royal College of Art
    GAC number
    18161/37