Paraskeva Clark (1898 – 1986) came to Toronto via Paris as a Russian émigré, arriving in 1931. Having experienced the 1917 Russian revolution firsthand, she never forgot its terrors or its utopian promise. Once in Canada, she remain committed to her homeland. In 1942, the year in which she painted Self Portrait With a Concert Program, her country was under siege during the Second World War. At that time, she held a sale of her paintings in support of the Canadian Aid to Russia Fund. In this painting, she incorporates the paper program from a concert of Russian music into the surface of her work, her gaze meeting ours with wary pride.
Photographed in the Vancouver Art Museum in Vancouver BC.