In 33.333333, Diaz Contemporary presents Kelly Mark's most recent Letraset drawing. The ten-panel piece spans 33.333333 feet by 32 inches – the entire length of the back gallery. Mark's Letraset drawings are an ongoing practice, in which the artist meticulously creates intricate, tangled forms using letters, numbers, symbols, and lines from sheets of Letraset, ‘instant lettering’.
This new drawing’s emphasis is on scale, specifically length, rather than Mark’s concentrically focused earlier work. Within the borders of the drawing’s crawling form, symbols are densely and exactly placed so that one is reminded of an endless, nebulous machine, containing pulls and cogs adorned with tiny fleur-de-lis and dot patterns. While there are restraints within this almost obsessive process, (Mark only allows herself what is on the sheet of Letraset), there are no rules. She relies on instinct to create a playful, pleasurable aesthetic result. Although Mark’s Letraset drawings are old-fashioned in method, their energy and conceptual playfulness make them timeless. By employing this obsolete technology, Mark engages in an expanded drawing practice that characteristically brings a reflection upon everyday human rituals into contact with ideas about our mediated world, and the significance of mark-making.
Kelly Mark has always had an intense preoccupation with the differing shades of pathos and humour found in everyday life. Hidden in the repetitive mundane tasks, routines and rituals of contemporary culture, she finds startling moments of poetic individuation. This “imprint of the individual,” although subtle and frequently paradoxical, is something she repeatedly returns to. Through her ‘will to order’ and her (self-described) frequently inane sense of humour, her objective is the investigation, documentation and validation of these singular ‘marked’ and ‘unmarked’ moments of our lives.
Mark received her BFA in 1994 at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design. She has exhibited widely across Canada and internationally at venues including the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), The Power Plant (Toronto), Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver), Musée d'Art Contemporain (Montreal), Henry Art Gallery (Seattle), Bass Museum (Miami), Ikon Gallery (UK), Lisson Gallery (UK), and the Physics Room (NZ). Mark represented Canada at the Liverpool Biennale in 2006 and the Sydney Biennale in 1998. She is a recipient of numerous Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council grants, as well as the KM Hunter Artist Award (2002), and Chalmers Art Fellowship (2002).
Kelly Mark would like to thank the Toronto Arts Council for its support.