AN ART gallery is set to host the works of one of Europe’s most notable artists next month.

The Hayletts Gallery, on Maldon High Street, is exhibiting original etchings from renowned Portuguese artist Dame Paula Rego.

The 84-year-old artist is highly praised for her paintings which often depict twisted children’s folktales or women in “unsettling” situations.

Hayletts Gallery director Sally Patrick says she had no idea that when she booked an exhibition of etchings by Rego three years ago, 2020 would be such a significant year for the artist.

She said: “It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we are extremely privileged to be exhibiting such a major artist here in Maldon.”

The month-long exhibition will run from February 1 to February 29.

With three major shows coming up this year, the visual artist is particularly sought-after for her paintings and prints based on storybooks.

Born in 1935, Rego’s style has evolved from abstract to representational. Her work has been described as often reflecting feminism, coloured by folk-themes from her native Portugal, and she has favoured pastels over oils for much of her career.

Previously studying at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, her art career first began when she exhibited with the London Group alongside David Hockney and Frank Auerbach.

Already very well established around the globe, with a solo show at the Tate under her belt in 2004, Rego has a major travelling exhibition, titled ‘Paula Rego: Obedience and Defiance’.

The exhibition started in Milton Keynes and is headed to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, followed by the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

Rego also recently held two shows entitled ‘Giving Fear a Face’ at CEART in Madrid, and ‘The Cruel Stories of Paula Rego’ at Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris.

Rego’s most well-known pieces include The Policeman’s Daughter, The Firemen of Alijo, Dog Woman, and The Dance.She was the first artist-in-residence at the National Gallery and lives and works in London. To find out more about the exhibition, visit online.