Victor Willing’s life, work and tumultuous relationship with Paula Rego explored in first UK retrospective

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Victor Willing's will get his first UK retrospective this autumn
© The Artists Estate

The first UK survey of works by the late overlooked artist Victor Willing—known for his tumultuous relationship with the Portuguese artist Paula Rego—opens at Hastings Contemporary gallery on the south coast this autumn (19 October-5 January 2020).

“The exhibition will offer visitors a chance to encounter the work of this groundbreaking artist, whose determined large-scale paintings illustrate phases of domestic life with his wife and fellow artist Paula Rego and their family, as well as darker periods of emotional difficulty,” a statement says. A new film by Willings son Nick focuses on his fathers career and legacy. "This will feature unseen archival footage from the family archives which will offer a new perspective into the family dynamics and Willing's artistic process," a gallery spokeswoman says.

Rego met Egyptian-born Willing when both were students at the Slade School of Art in the early 1950s. Their first encounter—when Willing asked her to remove her underwear in an empty room during a party—has been well documented. The pair moved to Ericeira in Portugal in 1957 and married in 1959 following Willings divorce from his first wife.

Nick Willing told the Telegraph earlier this year: “She [Rego] was hugely attracted to him from the moment they met in the early 1950s, but what she talks about most is how well he understood her and, in particular, her work… his genius was understanding the work better tRead More – Source

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