Russian, Canadian, 1898
oil on canvas
122.4 x 81.9 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 18624)
© Clive and Benedict Clark
"You, artist of the Pre-Cambrian shield, have been born, unfortunately for your dreams, into an age when what one desires is not handed to one on a silver spoon, but has to be fought for, more grimly as each month goes by. It is to enable you to lie on a rock that castles are tumbling in Spain. Out of brooding on the past comes only this precious, esoteric, abstract art, expressing the vague dreams of sophisticated artistic intellect; art whose divine irreality is lengthily discussed by sophisticated intellectuals; art as useful today as a top hat to a tatterdemalion beggar in the midst of winter . . . those who give their lives, their knowledge, and their time to social struggle have the right to expect great help from the artist . . . think of the human being, take actual part in your own times, find their expression and translate it, help your fellow men in the struggle for the future, and dream of the art which this future will produce."
Paraskeva Clark, "Come Out From Behind the Pre-Cambrian Shield," New Frontier, April 1937