‘To Give Fear a Face’: Memory and Fear in Paula Rego’s Early Work

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4 Citations (Scopus)


This article follows Paula Rego’s first experiments in figuration from the late 1950s on, and analyses how the motifs suggested by her Portuguese background and particular conceptions of British art, such as Herbert Read’s ‘geometry of fear’, were connected. Rego’s exploration of unconscious and automatic resources in this period’s paintings and drawings signalled a direct relationship between subjectivity and creative practice. In this process of converting personal references into visual forms, her artistic training at the Slade and the intellectual, cultural and artistic framework that her experience in London provided clearly pointed to a certain plastic direction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-291
Number of pages18
JournalVisual Culture in Britain
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2017


  • bicultural production
  • British post-war realism
  • Paula Rego
  • political and social criticism
  • Portuguese dictatorship


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