"Map in Gray, Red and White"
Signed, lower right
Oil on canvas
40" x 50"
Mark Horton was born in 1953 and, after a brief stint as an attorney, began his painting career in 1983. He lived and studied in Europe from 1985-1989 where his work received favorable reviews in the press. His solo exhibit in the Netherlands sold out.
Specializing in the built environment, his energetic urban views depict Americans and the American city on the move. Be it a street view, an aerial view or an abstract "Map" painting, Mark Horton celebrates the modern metropolis. He rarely concerns himself with a specific place or time. Instead, his paintings, rendered in quick, confident brushstrokes, capture the spirit of the American city. The large canvases teem with pedestrians and traffic. Billboards, marquees and rooftop water tanks speak to the human element, while the orderly relationship between the streets, buildings and sky organize the compositions. Whether a sunny day or a clear night, Horton loads his brush and lathers on the paint, engaging the eye with flourishes of color.
In his artist's statement, Horton writes, "This process [painting] encourages complexity and depth of expression beyond what I could consciously and intellectually plan. Because of that, I often experience wonderment when studying a just finished work." That complexity and wonderment are best revealed when we zoom into a painting. Individual elements dissolve into abstract constructions of shape and color, as seen in the detail images above. This tension between the structure of the painting and the looseness of the paint further animates Horton's art and sustains our interest.
Horton's work hangs in many private collections and can be seen in banks, hospitals, law firms and architecture firms, around the country.