Skip to main content

Artists as Writers: Clark, Paraskeva

Artist Biography


(Myself (self-portrait), Paraskeva Clark, © Clive H. Clark and the National Gallery of Canada)

CLARK, Paraskeva (1989 - 1986)

Graduate of OCAD University

Areas of Expertise

Painting, landscapes, self-portraiture,

Biography

Paraskeva Clark, née Plistik, was born in St. Petersburg, in the Soviet Union. Her early art training began there in 1916, initially under the direction of Savely Zeidenberg. Paraskeva Clark emigrated to Canada in the summer of 1931.

Her involvement with the art scene in Canada began in 1932 when she exhibited in a group show with members of the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts. During the early 1930s, the artist did a number of commissioned window displays for the T. Eaton Company. In 1936, her first major exhibition took place at the Galleries of J. Merritt Malloney in Toronto where she showed with four other women painters - Kathleen Daly, Yvonne McKague, Isabel McLaughlin and Rody Kenny Courtice (the same year she was elected a member of the Canadian Group of Painters). The following year, Clark joined the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour, another group with which she would regularly exhibit. In 1939, the Art Gallery of Toronto included her works in a group show with Caven Atkins, David Milne and Carl Schaefer. By 1940, she had exhibited in numerous venues in the United States (including the 1939 New York World's Fair), in New Zealand and at the Tate Gallery in London.

Although unavoidably drawn to the subject matter of landscape upon her arrival in Canada in 1931, due to the enormous influence of the Group of Seven, Clark is perhaps best-known for her "Self-Portrait" of 1933. Other examples of her portraiture, landscapes and still lifes are held in major collections throughout Canada including the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario and Dalhousie Art Gallery.

© Above biography edited from from Library & Archives Canada Paraskeva and Philip T. Clark fonds MG30 D398

Online Resources

Library & Archives Canada Pereskeva Clark website with biographical information

National Gallery of Canada Paraskeva Clark website with biographical information and Clark's artworks, including her earlier landscape, still-life as well as later political and self portrait paintings.

Virtual materials accompanying exhibition Canadian Painting in the Thirties. Visit Paraskeva Clark's page for biographical information, gallery, and read or listen to interview between Clark and Curator Charles Hill in 1973 in preparation for the exhibition

Portrait of an Artist -- as an Old Lady. Directed by Gail Singer, 1982, 27mins. The documentary includes interview clips with Paraskeva Clark.

Writing by Paraskeva Clark

Please note that not all works are available through the OCADU library. To acquire one of these works through Interlibrary Loan or other means, please contact the library for assistance.

Paraskeva Clark: Writing about her own art

"The Artist Speaks: A Statement by Paraskeva Clark." Canadian Review of Music and Art 3.9/10 (1944): 18-19.

"Paraskeva Clark." by Janice Cameron, et al. Eclectic Eve. [s.l.: s.n., 1974].
This chapter includes written quotes from interviews with Clark where she talks about her work and being a painter. Interview recordings are housed at the OCAD University archives.

Letters. Artscanada (Canadian Art). 03/1982, Volume 38, Issue 3. Available at OCADU Library.

Paraskeva Clark: Interviews

"Paraskeva Clark." Lawrence Sabbath. Canadian Art 17.5 (Sep 1960): 291-93. Available at OCADU Library.
Sabbath interviews Clark about her work, influences, use of colours, and art training.

Interview with Paraskeva Clark. Charles C. Hill. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1973.
Hill interviews Clark on Oct 18, 1973 in preparation for Canadian Painting in the Thirties exhibition.  View transcript in English and French, and listen to audio recordings online.

"Paraskeva Clark." by Janice Cameron, et al. Eclectic Eve. [s.l.: s.n., 1974].
This chapter includes written quotes from interview tapes with Clark where she talks about her work and being a painter. Interview tapes are housed at the  OCAD University archives.

Interview between Paraskeva Clark and Joan Murray. Toronto, 29 May 1979, Archives of the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa.

Paraskeva Clark: Writing about art

"Come Out From Behind the Pre-Cambrian Shield." New Frontier 1.12 (Apr 1937): 16-17.
This article discusses the political role of the artist

"Canadian Artists: Thoughts on Canadian Painting." World Affairs 8.6 (Feb 1943): 17-18.

"The Artist Speaks: A Statement by Paraskeva Clark." Canadian Review of Music and Art 3.9/10 (1944): 18-19.

"Travelling Exhibitions: Is the Public's Gain the Artist's Loss?" Canadian Art 7.1 (Autumn 1949): 21-23.  Available at OCADU Library.

"Paraskeva Clark." Douglas Duncan, A Memorial Portrait. Ed. Alan Jarvis. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1974. 60-61.
Clark writes about her memories of Douglas Duncan, art collector, book collector, bookbinder, and founder of Picture Loan Society, which exhibited, sold & loaned works by contemporary Canadian artists (Clark had Picture Loan exhibitions Paraskeva Clark Feb-Mar 1937; Canadian Aid to Russia, Exhibition and Sale of Paintings by Paraskeva Clark Dec 5-19, 1942; Parakseva Clark Feb 1947)

Lecture notes and other archival materials in Library & Archives Canada Paraskeva and Philip T. Clark fonds. View description online.