In this beautifully written monograph, Maria Manuel Lisboa explores the work of Paula Rego from various interconnected perspectives – iconographic, semiological and historiographic.This book is an urgent and necessary addition to the bibliography on Paula Rego, and an important contribution to scholarship about the artist, but also to contemporary painting, Portuguese art, feminist art, and areas of scholarship relating to the handling of the political and ideological in the visual arts.
Rego (b. 1935) is often thought of as a feminist artist because of her concern with issues like abortion and sexual violence, but Lisboa (Portuguese literature and culture, Univ. of Cambridge, UK) demonstrates that the artist is much more than that. Lisboa contextualizes Rego within the history and literature of Portugal. Lisboa does not shy away from difficult subject matter: she interrogates love, violence, incest, and religion [...] The text is erudite but accessible. Although Lisboa's presentation is not deeply theoretical, she does make reference to major thinkers, e.g., Jürgen Habermas, Jacques Lacan, Fredric Jameson, and Mieke Bal. Essays on Paula Rego is open access.
T. Nygard, Ripon College
Choice Connect (0009-4978), vol. 57, no. 4, 2019.