Mark Horst grew up in Minnesota. He studied pottery and printmaking in high school and college, but his encounter with Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker led to years of very different work. After earning a Ph.D. in theology from Yale University, he spent time teaching and working toward neighborhood renewal in south Minneapolis. He studied painting and drawing at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design with Kristen Lowe and Michael Kareken and at the New York Studio School with painter Graham Nickson. He lives in New Mexico.
Mark Horst carries a quiver full of painterly gifts. His startling work reveals wild pinpricks of the eternal, often in the subtlest of images. Make no mistake, the paintings sometimes hold our feet to the flame-a door between a collectively understood image and some new paint-spirit that comes hurtling through. Not always a comfortable experience.
That door is also a gateway between the tacit and the explicit-his sheer feel and technique is obvious, but there are other energies at work here too, some ancient condition of the soul. Horst is one of the few new painters to hold the paradox of tradition and innovation within him- there is brilliance here.
If paint were a means of freezing time and protecting us from the dangerous life of the spirit, I would put down my brushes. But, for me, painting is a way of breaking time’s grip and setting loose something wild and strong. I paint as a way to see and to know the world. The world is never finished and the joy of seeing it is never complete and so my painting hints at the fleeting, the glimpsed, at a life that is always present and so difficult to touch.
I paint the way I see which is always incomplete and in process. The more I look, the more there is to observe. The world opens up and flowers; the mud takes form. I paint the figure as an invitation to explore the world and ourselves: our light, our shadows, our incompleteness and our vulnerability and our strength. Publications
2015 “the artist’s gaze, interview,” Poets and Artists Magazine
2015 “The Artist’s Gaze: Seeing Women in the 21st Century” catalog
2015 Featured in the book Contemporary Art of the Southwest by Ashley Rooney
May 25, 2014, “Mark Horst: Figure Paintings and More” Local IQ, by Katherine Ostman
2014 “Escape into Life” interview published
2013 Featured in The Art of Man, 9th edition book
Education & Training
2008 Spring Painting Marathon, Graham Nickson, New York Studio School
2007 Spring Painting Marathon, Graham Nickson, New York Studio School
2005-6 Minneapolis College of Art and Design, study in painting, drawing & printmaking
1985 Ph.D. Yale University, Theology