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This book accompanies a major exhibition (Paula Rego: Obedience and Defiance 15th June - 22nd September 2019 at MK Gallery) that brings together paintings, drawings and prints spanning the artist's career from the 1960's to the present day. It focuses on work that addresses the moral challenges to humanity, particularly in the face of violence, poverty, political tyranny, gender discrimination and grief. The selected pictures, which include previously unseen paintings and works on paper from the artist's family and close friends, reflect Rego's perspective as an empathetic, courageous woman and a defender of justice.

The book includes substantial text by exhibition curator Catherine Lampert that considers Rego's oeuvre as a whole and draws upon the artist's own interpretations and revelation about her practice, commentaries on the individual works, and a personal appreciation of the artist's achievements by the acclaimed American writer Kate Zambreno.