Aja Martin

WEBSITE(S)| Aja Martin at Academia

Dissertation Title: Dark Matters: Lucio Fontana’s Grotesque World

Advisor: Hughes, Gordon

Aja Martin is a doctoral candidate in Art History at Rice University where she writes on twentieth-century art and theory with an emphasis on Italy. Her dissertation, “Dark Matters: Lucio Fontana’s Grotesque World,” calls our attention to the conspicuous presence of shadows and voids that appear across Fontana’s oeuvre and enact a dynamic balance with the aspects of light and space for which the artist is more widely known.

Aja was a 2020-21 Research Fellow at the Center for Italian Modern Art in New York City and has presented her research nationally. She has curated large-scale contemporary art exhibitions and served in curatorial departments and on selection boards across Texas. Aja’s prior research into constructed public and private spaces also involves technology, vision, and being—areas Aja continues to pursue in the work of Lucio Fontana.


“Ambiente Spaziale in Documenta 4, a Kassel, 1968.” Italian Art Society Newsletter, XXX/3 Fall 2019, 12-13.

Research Areas

Twentieth-Century Italian Art; Modernism(s)


MA, Art History, Southern Methodist University

BA, Art History, University of Houston

Honors & Awards

2020 Amici di Via Gabina Traveling Fellowship

2020-21 Center For Italian Modern Art Fellowship


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