Box 62050, 104 Regent Ave. E.
Winnipeg, Manitoba, R2C 0C0
Telephone/Fax - 204-224-5305
E-mail - email@example.com
Clark was born April 9, 1935 in St. Vital , a suburb of Winnipeg,
where the city was meeting up with the grasses of the open prairie. His
mother was a gifted artist who took art classes at the Winnipeg Art
and introduced Kelly to the artwork of the Canadian Group of Seven.
began his exploration into art at an early age as in Kindergarten he
chastised by his teacher for drawing a purple cow. Kelly’s
to that was fairly direct “this is not a cow, it is a drawing of
a cow, and I can make it any colour I want to.”
Kelly later entered the University of Manitoba School of Art where Professor George Swinton became a major influence as a teacher and mentor during his 4 years of Art School. He spent many hours learning about the history of art & exploring the creativity of the masters at Swinton’s home. Kelly graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Diploma in Fine Arts in 1958.
Kelly had as much fascination with music as with visual art, not an unusual combination, but the social protest songs rang out even more loudly to him during the 50’s. Inspired by Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie he became Winnipeg’s first folk singer during his later art school years and performed regularly in a local restaurant. On the night before he left for England in 1959, he recorded an album for London Records of Canada - Folk Songs by Kelly Clark.
Although Kelly participated in a number of exhibits ( Artist
CV ) and his works are seen in many private and corporate art
he never really had a great interest in the marketing end of the art
prefering to be the artist's artist and spend his time creating. Kelly
was a prolific artist, creating works in various media of which many
have not been publically accessible. In 1998 the Winnipeg Art Gallery
Gallery 1.1.1., U of M School of Art mounted a retrospective of his
and from this exhibition was produced an award winning art book. This
is available through the Gallery Shoppes at the
Click on image to view gallery
Kelly, a young man from the Canadian prairies, his stay in London,
was a dramatic change. Although familiar with art history while
at the University of Manitoba Art School, this familiarity was from
books and reproductions. In London he visited museums on a daily basis
as London presented a feast of art and ideas and real live paintings!
The other dramatic change Kelly experienced was the change in the density of the population, never before had he encountered so many people on a daily basis. This observation of the heavy population density manifests itself in many of his UK paintings, the "face" paintings, some of which are almost entirely filled with staring faces.
|Erotic Drawings|| In
1962, while in London and with the assistance of a Canada Council
Kelly was privileged to study life drawing under the Austrian
Oskar Kokoschka at his summer workshop at a monastery in Salzburg,
The work was intense, with monks ringing a bell every 15 minutes and
either automatically changed pose or they would be replaced by fresh
Kokoschka was a demanding teacher who pushed the students to challenge
After returning to Canada and spending some time in Toronto, Kelly returned to Winnipeg in June, 1966. He reconnected with a classmate friend, Jack Lewis–Smith who was running an art school. Kelly again had access to models, which he hadn’t had since 1962 in Salzburg. Beginning with the models he began drawing again, mostly pen & ink. This return to a fairly basic artistic exercise, plus a new relationship, lead him into exploring the subject of erotic art.
In January of 1975 Kelly began a series of graphite drawings which were exhibited in October of that year at the Plug In Gallery, with the show title of "Me and My Shadows". This series of drawings was more commonly known as the Top Hat series, as the recurring theme of the drawings was a depiction of a top hatted charactor. Kelly's use of a formal top hat apears to be a personal signature as it occurs throughout his artistic career. The concepts for these drawings had obviously been formulating in Kelly's mind for some time as they were executed in a short period of time. The other interesting aspect of these drawings was that they were executed without a single erasure, itself a testament to Kelly's ability to transfer his thoughts onto the paper and his ability as a graphic artist.
|Me and My Shadows|
|Gesture Drawings|| While
Kelly was teaching drawing classes at the Forum Art Institute, he
an experienced and very good model. Since by that time his studio
space had expanded considerably, with the permission of the model and
enthusiastic artist friends, who were willing to share the costs of the
model, they agreed to meet on a weekly basis.
These sessions began in November, 1987 and continued, weekly, up until April, 1989. It was a productive experience for all concerned; the artists and the model. Although the drawings were quick sketches one can see that Kelly was a masterful draftsman.
|In October of 1993 Kelly was diagosed with throat cancer and was given 20 radiation treatments, which usually carried a 95% cure rate. In July of 1994 Kelly was admitted to hospital and it was discovered that the tumour had recurred and that his vocal chords would have to be surgically removed. Approximately 6 months after his laryngectomy, in January of 1995, he completed the first three self portraits which became the beginning of the "Cancer Series". After another hiatus, brought about by complications from the surgery, at the end of April 1995 Kelly completed 5 volcano paintings, which helped him to vent the frustration of his ordeal. Thus began an intense period of artistic activity which produced 40 paintings, documenting his experience and culminating in the last and peaceful painting "Kelly's Final Choice", which was completed just hours before his passing on June 2, 1995.||Cancer Series|
|An article entitled "In the Silent Hours: the cancer paintings of Kelly Clark" was written for the November 2003 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal. This article is available in pdf format by clicking on this link CMAJ article|