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CLARK, Paraskeva

St. Petersburg, Russia, 1898
Toronto, Ontario, 1986
Biography synopsis
Paraskeva Clark (née Plistik) took evening classes at the Petrograd Academy of Fine Arts. By 1916 she was taking private lessons from the landscape painter Savely Seidenberg. When the Russian Academy became the Free Studios following the Revolution of 1917, Clark took advantage of the opportunity to study (1918-1921) with Vasily Shukhayev and Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin without paying tuition fees. In 1923 Clark moved to Paris, and there she met and married a Canadian, Philip Clark. In 1931 the couple moved to Toronto. Clark met many of the major figures in the Canadian painting establishment and by 1932 she showed a self-portrait at the Royal Canadian Academy annual exhibition. Clark was a member of the Canadian Group of Painters (1936); the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour (1937); Canadian Society of Graphic Art (1938, resigned 1940); the Ontario Society of Artists (1954), and the Royal Canadian Academy (Associate, 1956; Academician, 1966). Clark gave several lectures on Soviet art at the Art Gallery of Ontario. During the 1930s she was one of only a few Canadian painters whose work reflected her political convictions. During the Second World War Clark was appointed by the National Gallery of Canada to record the activities of the Women’s Divisions of the Armed Forces. She participated in many group shows and between 1951 and 1956, she held four large solo shows at the New Laing Gallery (1959), the University of Toronto (1952), MacDonald College, McGill University (1956) and Hart House, University of Toronto (1956). Her work is owned by the National Gallery of Canada, Hart House, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and many private collectors.
Media used
Petrograd Academy of Fine Arts
Private study, 1916 (under Savely Seidenberg)
Russian Academy/Free Studios, 1918 - 1921 (under Vasily Shukhayev; Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin)
Canadian Group of Painters, 1936
Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour, 1937
Canadian Society of Graphic Art, 1938; resigned 1940
Ontario Society of Artists, 1954
Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, Associate, 1956; Academician, 1966
File & Archive locations
Calgary Public Library, AB - Arts Department
Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery, ON
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts / Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, QC
Art Gallery of Ontario - Edward P. Taylor Research Library and Archives
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, QC - Media Centre
Toronto Reference Library, ON
University of Calgary Library, AB
University of British Columbia - Fine Arts Library
Vancouver Art Gallery, BC - Library
Winnipeg Art Gallery, MA - Clara Lander Library
Hamilton Public Library, ON - Local History and Archives Department
London Public Library, ON
Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, ON
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC

Writings about
"Art Exhibit Discussed: Private Showing Given Members of Windsor Association." Windsor Star 1 Dec. 1942
"Art: Canadian Impressionists." Saturday Night (17 Apr. 1951)
"Contemporary Canadian Artists." Canadian Forum (7 Aug. 1937)
"Letters on Criticism." Artscanada 40 (Mar. 1982): 34-5
"Obituary: Russian-born Canadian Painter." Macleans 99.34 (25 August 1986): 4.
"Paraskeva Clark with Lawrence Sabbath." Canadian Art 17.5 (1960): 291-293
"Peintres canadiens." La Presse (Montreal) 14 Mar. 1942
"Portraits Were Artist's Biography." Globe and Mail (Toronto) 12 Aug. 1986.
"Spring Exhibition of Art Association was Opened on Thursday." Toronto Star 12 Mar. 1933
"Traveling Exhibitions: Are Painters Being Imposed Upon?" Canadian Art 7.1 (1949): 22.
Art Gallery of Ontario. Paraskeva Clark and Carl Schaefer: Special Exhibition Room, March 26th to April 25, 1954. Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1954
Art Gallery of Ontario. Paraskeva Clark, Carl Schaefer, Caven Atkins, David Milne, November-December 1939. Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1939
Art Gallery of Ontario. The Canadian Collection. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Co. of Canada, 1970
Aylen, Marielle Barbara Desiree. Interfaces of the Portrait: Liminality and Dialogism in Canadian Women's Portraiture Between the Wars. Ottawa: Carleton University, 1996
Ayre, Robert. "Confrontation of Two Canadian Groups." Montreal Star 4 Nov. 1967
Ayre, Robert. "Contemporary Painting: Art Surveys Canadian Scene." Montreal Star 11 Nov. 1963
Ayre, Robert. "The Canadian Group of Painters." Canadian Art 6.3 (Spring 1949): 98-102
Bell, Andrew. "The Art of Paraskeva Clark." Canadian Art 7.2 (1949): 42-46
Bourgogne, Francois. "Toutes les tendances dans le "groupe des peintres." L'Autorite Quebec: 8 Feb. 1953.
Boutilier, Alicia & Tobi Bruce. The Artist Herself : Self-portraits by Canadian Historical Women Artists / L'artiste elle-même : autoportraits de femmes artistes au Canada. Kingston, ONT.: Agnes Etherinton Art Centre. Hamilton: Art Gallery Hamilton, 2015
Boutilier, Alicia Anna, et al.. A Vital Force: The Canadian Group of Painters. Kingston, Ontario: Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen's University, 2013., 2013
Boyanoski, Christine. Paraskeva Clark: Life & Work. Toronto: Art Canada Institute/Institut de l'Art Canadien, 2016
Buchanan, D.W. The Growth of Canadian Painting. Toronto: Collins, 1950: 54-56
Cameron, Janice, et al. Eclectic Eve. Toronto: Ontario College of Art and Design, 1974
Cameron, V. "The Useful and the Human." Vanguard 12( April 1983): 6-9
Carney, Lora Senechal. Canadian Painters in a Modern World, 1925–1955: Writings and Reconsiderations. Montreal; Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2017
Carr, Angela, ed. Raven Papers: Remembering Natalie Luckyj (1945-2002) Newcastle, ON: Penumbra Press, 2010
Dagg, Anne Innis. "What Happens to Women's Art?" Globe and Mail (Toronto) 4 Aug. 1984
Daniel, Pierre. "Peintres canadiens." La Presse (Montreal) 14 Mar. 1942: 33
Duval, Paul. Four Decades: the CGP and their Contemporaries, 1930-70. Toronto: Clarke, Irwin, 1972
Farr, Dorothy and Luckyj, Natalie. From Women's Eyes: Women Painters in Canada. Kingston: Agnes Etherington Art Centre, 1975
Freedman, Adele. "In the Shadow of the 30s: The Winter of Paraskeva Clark." Toronto Life (February 1979): 127-129.
Gray, Camilla. The Russian Experiment in Art New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1986
Hill, Charles. Canadian Painting in the Thirties. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1975
Hubbard, R.H. The Development of Canadian Art. Ottawa: Queen's Printer, 1963
Hudson, Anna. Art and social progress: the Toronto community of painters,1933-1950. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1997
Hudson, Anna Victoria. Art and Social Progress: The Toronto Community of Painters, 1933-1950. Toronto: University of Toronto, 1997
Hughes, Mary Jo. The View from Here: Selections from the Canadian Historical Collection. Winnipeg: Winnipeg Art Gallery, 2000
Hume, Christopher. "'Painting Is Not a Woman's Job': But Paraskeva Clark Has Made It In a Man's World." Toronto Star 29 Jan. 1983
Jasmin, Claude. "Canadian Group of Painters, ou plusieurs peintres du Canada tout...anglais?" La Presse (Montreal) 30 Nov. 1963: 22
King, Alan. "Paraskeva Clark's Art Furnishes Panya Clark's Imagination" Ottawa Citizen 9 Apr. 1995
Lind, Jane. Perfect Red : the Life of Paraskeva Clark Toronto: Cormorant Books, 2009
Luckyj, Natalie. "Come Out From Behind the Pre-Cambrian Shield: The Politics of Memory and Identity in the Art of Paraskeva Clark." The Social and the Real: Political Art of the 1930s in the Western Hemisphere. Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2006
MacDonald, Rose. "One-Man Shows Display Inspiration of Mexico." Toronto Evening Telegram Toronto: 26 Jan. 1952.
MacLachlin, Mary E. Paraskeva Clark: Paintings and Drawings. Halifax: Dalhousie Art Gallery, 1982
Mays, John Bentley. "Artist Remembered for her High Spirit and Conviction." Globe and Mail (Toronto) 13 Aug. 1986.
McInnes, G. Campbell. "Contemporary Canadian Artists." Canadian Forum (Aug. 1937): 166
McInnes, G. Campbell. “World of Art.” Saturday Night (18 Jan. 1936): 4
Miller, David. "Gifted Political Artist Paraskeva Clark Dies." Toronto Star 12 Aug. 1986: C5.
Milroy, Sarah, editor. Uninvited: Canadian Women Artists in the Modern Movement. Vancouver: Figure 1, 2021
Murray, Joan. Joan Murray Talking to Paraskeva Clark at 56 Roxborough Drive, Toronto, Mar15/79. 15 Mar. 1979.
Nicol, Pegi. "The Passionate Snow of Yesteryear." The Canadian Forum 16.183 (April 1936): 21.
O'Rourke, Kathryn. Labours and Love: Issues of Domesticity and Marginalization in the Works of Paraskeva Clark. Montreal: Concordia University, 1995
Redgrave, F. "The Divine Grumpiness of Paraskeva Clark." Art Magazine 63.4 (June-Aug 1983): 58-59
Sabbath, Lawrence. "Paraskeva Clark." Canadian Art 17.5 (Sept 1960): 291-293
Singer, Gail, Kathleen Shannon, Margaret Pettigrew. Portrait of the Artist as an Old Lady. Ottawa: National Film Board of Canada, 1982
Skelly, Julia. "Paraskeva Clark" The Canadian Encyclopedia, 28 Nov. 2016
Trépanier, Esther. "Oh! la belle crise!" Le Spectacle Nov. 1983: 10
Wolfe, Curtis. Engaging the Public Sphere: The Art and Advocacy of Elizabeth Wyn Wood and Paraskeva Clark Related to Their Debate Over the Artist's Role in Society Ottawa: Carleton University, 2010

Writings by
Clark, Paraskeva. "Come Out From Behind the Pre-Cambrian Shield." New Frontier 1.12 (April 1937): 16-17
Clark, Paraskeva. "The Artist Speaks: A Statement by Paraskeva Clark." Canadian Review of Music and Other Arts 3.9&10 (Oct-Nov 1944): 18-20.

Full text pdfs of exhibition reviews
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, ) "Spring Exhibition of Art Association Was Opened on Thursday."  Montreal Star  .  p.19.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, ) "50th Spring Show Opened to Public. Jury Shows Open Mind. From Over 1,000 Entries, 543 Works Representative of Various Schools Have Been Selected."  Gazette (Montreal)  .  p.6.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, ) Henri Girard..  "La vie artistique. Le salon du printemps."  Le Canada (Montreal)  .  p.2.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, ) Robert Ayre.  "Evolution In Canadian Art Principle Message of Exhibition. 56th In Art Association's History."  Standard (Montreal)  .  p.20.   Full-text pdf

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