This self-portrait is a statement of Clark’s concern over the invasion of Russia by the Nazis and the siege of Leningrad, which began in September 1941. For the duration of the siege, Clark had no way of communicating with the members of her family and friends who lived there. What Clark strove to communicate through the serious expression on her face and her stiff, upright posture was the gravity of the Second World War. To make the message more powerful, she collaged the actual program of a benefit concern for Russia onto the surface of the canvas.
Paraskeva Clark: A Russian Émigré’s Eye on Canada
Paraskeva Clark, Self-Portrait with Concert Program, 1942
Oil with paper (concert program) on canvas, 76.6 x 69.8 cm, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa