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Kelly Mark (born 1967 in Welland, Ontario) is a Canadian conceptual artist and sculptor based in Toronto. Her work explores the mundane rituals of everyday life.Mark is an artist who makes conceptual artworks across a range of media. Formats include: sculptural installation, performance, video, photography, sound, neon, art multiples, mail art, wallpaper, Letraset and tattoos. A student of Gerald Ferguson at NSCAD, Mark’s work has, as Robin Metcalfe notes, “an echo of Ferguson’s obsessive, process-oriented serial works of the early 1970s”. Re-workings of conceptualist strategies, such as process and repetition, are a prominent feature of Mark’s early art practice. In the Jar Series the artist fills mason jars with various white substances (White Jars, 1994), or black substances (Black Jars, 1996) and arranges them in a grid on the floor. Christina Ritchie, the curator of Mark’s 1997 exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario writes, Mark’s artworks often combine an emphasis on the formal characteristics of Minimalism with “personal, psychological expression.” In the Until Drawings (1997), for instance, the artist makes a drawing “until the pencil runs out”; e.g., One Castell 9000 4B (1997) features deep gouges of thick graphite lines made in a repeating series covering the top half of a piece of paper. As Ritchie comments, in this aspect of her practice, Mark moves “into the realm of obsession and irresistible compulsion to order.” An interest in “framing daily habits so they cross into the realm of art ” is consistent throughout Mark’s work. Object Carried for One Year (2003-2012) is a series of performances/sculptures consisting of a steel bar the artist carried in her pocket for an entire year. Mark’s working class politics are evident in In and Out (1997-2032), a long term performance piece (ending when the artist dies or reaches retirement age 65) that requires the artist to punch an old-fashioned time clock. The piece has been owned by the Toronto art collector Dr. Paul Marks since 1999, “meaning that Mark, in effect, has a 'boss' who pays her on a yearly basis for the work”. The artist’s strategy of reframing the everyday is also evident in her use of TV as a sculptural material. Glow House (2005-2009) presents the temporary installation of 35-40 television sets turned to the same channel and distributed throughout a residential house. Animating the house with flickering light for those passing by in the night, Glow House was called “a true example of democratic public art ” by Leslie Jen in Canadian Architect. Mark’s video work, REM (2007), is compiled from more than 170 films and TV shows, to create a composite feature film that “meshes production and consumption into narrative hyper-time.” REM is in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada. Wikipedia

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