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11 Feb 2011

MY CHOICE - Works selected by Paula Rego from the British Council Collection

Madame Yevonde
Machine Worker in Summer, 1937
©Yevonde Portrait Archive

MY CHOICE - Works selected by Paula Rego from the British Council Collection
Casa das Historias Paula Rego


10 February - 12 June 2011 Open daily - 10 am - 06 pm Free entrance


+351 214 826 970
+351 214 826 971

Casa das Historias Paula Rego
Av. da Republica, 300
2750-475 Cascais

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«…At the end of the room were big, black, cardboard boxes, stacked on top of each other, full of etchings and prints. I had the impression that some had not been opened for years and years, that no-one had ever looked at some of them. I came across a magic world of places so beautifully drawn, houses with windows of various sizes, landscapes and townscapes, often mysterious. I felt my heart beating not knowing what lay underneath; surprise after surprise and I was full of expectation and delight. (…) I really only chose what I liked. I didn't choose pictures because of the name of the artist, or because they were considered historically significant. Very often I didn't know who had done them. Some I had seen before, but others not.(…)».

December 2010
Text by Paula Rego, from the exhibition catalogue.

From 10 February until 12 June 2011, the Casa das Histórias Paula Rego will present 120 works selected by Paula Rego from the large collection owned by the British Council. The exhibition consists predominantly of British artists of the last hundred years, and includes drawings, etchings, photographs and paintings that reflect Paula Rego's taste. Her choice reveals her own take on the world and echoes many of the themes that appear in her works: in some, a sense of menace underlies the narrative, in others sexual tension, absurdity or fun. Her love of drawing is also reflected in the number and variety of graphic works by little known artists, which rub shoulders with more iconic and famous images. The big names include Lucian Freud (Naked girl with Egg), David Hockney (39 etchings of Grimm's Fairy Tales), Patrick Caulfield, Grayson Perry, Walter Sickert, Graham Sutherland, Paul Nash and Richard Hamilton. One of the photographs by the completely unknown Madame Yevonde is reproduced on the poster for the exhibition.

My Choice is a joint partnership between the Fundação Paula Rego/Casa das Histórias, British Council, Fundação EDP and University of Coimbra. After its opening at the Casa das Histórias, the exhibition will travel to the newly-opened Galeria Fundação EDP in Oporto in July where it will be on show until October, from where it will then follow on to the Casa das Caldeiras at the University of Coimbra.

The British Council Collection, which was started in the late 1930s with a modest group of works on paper, now contains over 8500 works of British art of the 20th and 21st centuries. It covers all media from the swiftest charcoal sketch to installation to video, and also has in addition holdings of craft and design items. Its focus has always been on young and emerging artists as its prime function has been to promote contemporary Britain. The British Council Collection is now considered one of the most significant collections of British art in the UK. The main purpose of the Collection is to travel, and engage with audiences around the globe, to create debate and to share ideas, to challenge orthodoxies even, through exhibitions, loans to museums and galleries worldwide and displays in our cultural centres in the 110 countries in which the British Council operates.