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Essays on Paula Rego: Smile When You Think about Hell

Essays on Paula Rego: Smile When You Think about Hell Maria Manuel Lisboa
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-78374-756-6 £25.95
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-78374-757-3 £36.95
PDF ISBN: 978-1-78374-758-0 £0.00
epub ISBN: 978-1-78374-759-7 £5.99
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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, December 2019 Vol. 57 No. 4. Reprinted with permission from CHOICE, copyright by the American  Library Association.

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.
—Ruth Rosengarten

In these powerful and stylishly written essays, Maria Manuel Lisboa dissects the work of Paula Rego, the Portuguese-born artist considered one of the greatest artists of modern times. Focusing primarily on Rego’s work since the 1980s, Lisboa explores the complex relationships between violence and nurturing, power and impotence, politics and the family that run through Rego’s art.

Taking a historicist approach to the evolution of the artist’s work, Lisboa embeds the works within Rego’s personal history as well as Portugal’s (and indeed other nations’) stories, and reveals the interrelationship between political significance and the raw emotion that lies at the heart of Rego’s uncompromising iconographic style. Fundamental to Lisboa’s analysis is an understanding that apparent opposites – male and female, sacred and profane, aggression and submissiveness – often co-exist in Rego’s work in a way that is both disturbing and destabilising.

This collection of essays brings together both unpublished and previously published work to make a significant contribution to scholarship about Paula Rego. It will also be of interest to scholars and students of contemporary painting, Portuguese and British feminist art, and the political and ideological aspects of the visual arts.

Essays on Paula Rego: Smile When You Think about Hell
Maria Manuel Lisboa | September 2019
510 pp. | 181 color illustrations | 6.14" x 9.21" (234 x 156 mm)
ISBN Paperback: 9781783747566
ISBN Hardback: 9781783747573
ISBN Digital (PDF): 9781783747580
ISBN Digital ebook (epub): 9781783747597
ISBN Digital ebook (mobi): 9781783747603
ISBN Digital (XML): 9781783747610
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0178
Subject codes: BIC: AFC (Painting and Paintings ), JFFK (Feminist and Feminist Theory), JPSL (Geopolitics), VFVX (Intergenerational Relationships); BISAC: ART037000 (ART / Politics), SOC010000 (SOCIAL SCIENCES / Feminist theory), POL007000 (POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES / Democracy)

You may also be interested in:
A Note on Images
Prologue: A Patriot for Me

1. Past History and Deaths Foretold: A Map of Memory
2. (He)art History or a Death in the Family: The Late 80s
3. The Sins of the Fathers: Mother and Land Revisited in the Late 90s
4. An Interesting Condition: The Abortion Pastels
5. Brave New Worlds: The Birthing of Nations in First Mass in Brazil
6. I Am Coming to Your Kingdom, Prince Horrendous: Scary Stories for Baby, Perfect Stranger and Me
7. Paula and the Madonna: Who’s That Girl?
8. Epilogue: Let Me Count the Ways I Love You

Appendix A
Translation of Alexandre Herculano’s A Dama Pé de Cabra (The Lady with a Cloven Hoof)

Appendix B
Translation of Hélia Correia’s ‘Fascinação’ (‘Enchantment’)

Works Cited
List of Illustrations
Maria Manuel Lisboa is Professor of Portuguese Literature and Culture at the University of Cambridge and is a Fellow of St. John’s College, Cambridge. She is the author of seven books and of articles on Portuguese, Brazilian and Lusophone African and comparative literature, film and the visual arts. Her work focuses on themes of gender and national identity and has been awarded two prizes: the Prémio do Grémio Literário in Portugal for a monograph on the nineteenth-century writer José Maria Eça de Queirós, and the Itamaraty Prize in Brazil for an essay on the Brazilian author Lygia Fagundes Telles. With OBP she published The End of the World: Apocalypse and its Aftermath in Western Culture, her first book to focus on film as well as literature.