Alongside Paula Rego will be the names of Alma Berrow, Bea Bonafini, Leonora Carrington, Harriet Gillett, Arianne Hughes, Tali Lennox, Nooka Shepherd, Sophie von Hellermann and Georg Wilson.

“The works [to be presented] range from the beginnings of the [surrealist] movement to the present, highlighting, in particular, the feminist meaning of the witch through pieces that, ironically, unveil the Freudian symbolism of these women who fly on broomsticks”, reads a statement released today by the British gallery.

According to the gallery, the exhibition will be on display between November 16th and December 20th and will bring together “pre-existing works by canonical voices such as Paula Rego with new works by emerging talents”, to show the evolution of portraits of the witches, 90% of which are new.

Despite the male predominance in Surrealism, “women have long used its practices to unleash the creative potential of their subconscious minds, with Mexico representing an early nucleus of female Surrealists that included Frida Kahlo, Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo and others ”.

“Often using the figure of the witch, the magical entity gradually became a vehicle for women artists to release the depths of their dreams and explore ideas of gender and sexuality,” the gallery added.

Born in Lisbon, Paula Rego began drawing as a child, and left for the British capital at the age of 17, to study at the Slade School of Fine Art, where she would take up residence and distinguish herself for the uniqueness of her work, inspired by literature and marked, over the decades, by the defense of women's rights.

In London, she met her husband, the English artist Victor Willing, who died in 1988, whose work Paula Rego showed several times at the Casa das Histórias museum.

In 2004, she was elevated to the Grand Cross of the Military Order of Sant'Iago da Espada de Portugal by the President of the Republic, Jorge Sampaio, and, in 2010, she was named Dame Commander of The Order of the British Empire by the British Crown, for her contribution to the arts. In 2016 she received the Medal of Honour from the city of Lisbon.

In 2019, the painter was awarded the Medal of Cultural Merit by the Ministry of Culture.

Paula Rego died on June 8, 2022, in London, leaving a work that is represented in several of the most important public and private collections around the world.