"That is the right and the left of it all. Now you're talking about art. If that statement that I've made and put out in the public eye can be seen in so many different lights, then indeed, I have won as an artist,"
- Martin Cary Horowitz
Santa Fe–based artist Martin Cary Horowitz was born in 1949 in Long Island, and graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. His early specialty was the application of gold leaf, specifically via the Renaissance technique of water gilding. As a Master Frameworker, Horowitz’s book An Introduction to Water Gildersbecame the bible for gilders internationally. Bringing this technique to his art practice, along with an affinity for 1960s Minimalism, Horowitz created a unique body of work centered on gilded sculptures and wall pieces.
Grenade, perhaps his best-known piece, was installed one week before the 2004 US presidential election in front of Linda Durham Contemporary Art Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Several feet high and fully covered in gold leaf, Grenade was meant in many ways as an anti-war statement. The sculpture was vandalized several times, but nevertheless was exhibited around the country, including at Chicago’s Art in the Park show and the Hot Springs Museum of Contemporary Art in Arizona.
Up until his death in 2020, Horowitz continued to make both Minimalistic works and sculptures. His work has been shown in galleries and museums in New York, Santa Fe, Wyoming, Memphis, and Scottsdale. His latest works focus on a series of large-scale gilded relief pieces in the shape of concave disks, at times evocative of ancient bronze age shields while alluding to Byzantine goldwork. These mesmerizing circular forms with reflective surfaces that orchestrate refracted and absorbed light from varying angles were most recently featured in a two-person exhibition at Yares Art, New York, in 2017.