Natalka Husar *
(original study for "Pandora’s Parcel to Ukraine" in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa)
Oil on ragboard
7 3/4" x 6 1/4"
Donated by the artist
Born in New Jersey in 1951 to Ukrainian immigrant parents. Graduated from Rutgers University in 1973 and moved to Toronto, where she lives and works. From 1990 to 2015 she was associate professor in the drawing and painting program at OCAD University. Retired from teaching, she remains an adjunct professor. She has exhibited widely across Canada during the past four decades and is represented in numerous public collections, including the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Canada Council Art Bank, and the National Gallery of Canada. She has received grants from the Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, and SSHRC. Her themes in painting since the 1980s have been of identities in displacement, haunted by an obliterated homeland and the fates of those left behind. Working like a playwright, she invents psychologically specific characters — including her own alter-egos — and places them into time-warped scenarios to address contemporary history. In the early 1990s, she began using the concept of post-Soviet Ukraine as a metaphorical stage on which her cast of characters expressed the gamut of social desires and the re-invention of oneself. Her current body of work, Alterations and Repairs, shifts from the public to the private, revisiting the notion of immigrant paradise and the inheritance that comes with loss.