Martha Hughes, ‘Scene 186 - Pool’, 2016, Elisa Contemporary

Martha Hughes lives and works in Marfa, Texas. She received her B.F.A. from the University of Texas, Austin.
Inspired by the artwork of children and outsider artists, Hughes paints grid-based scenes using reductive, geometric blocks of color. She frequently depicts unsettling or impossible spaces. Her “Scenes” and “Setups” series, alluring in their ambiguity and bold use of color, reveal the contours of subtly vertiginous interior spaces. Hughes is also interested in the ways objects can convey atmosphere and mood.

Series: We will be debuting a new Pool series by Martha Hughes. The colors and shapes are intended to welcome and invite the viewer to jump in and become immersed in this vibrant world. According to Hughes, “Paintings in the Scenes series are of everyday, prosaic interiors and landscapes, with ambiguous, vertiginous spaces that reflect my sense of never being quite at home in the world. The look of this series was initially partly influenced by children’s tempera paintings – colorful, flat and simple. I often find inspiration from glossy interior design and architecture magazines, with their carefully staged photographs of impossibly pristine, beautiful houses, gardens, and pools.”

She has been exhibiting her artwork since 1987 throughout the US including a recent exhibit group show in Sante Fe featuring her work alongside, Chuck Close, Agnes Martin, and Sol LeWitt. Her work is in private collections.

About Martha Hughes

Inspired by the artwork of children, outsider, and mentally ill artists, Martha Hughes paints grid-based scenes using reductive, geometric blocks of color. Based in Marfa, Texas, the artist frequently depicts unsettling or impossible spaces. Her “Scenes” and “Setups” series, alluring in their ambiguity and bold use of color, reveal the contours of subtly vertiginous interior spaces. Hughes is also interested in the ways objects can convey atmosphere and mood. For example, her “Timelapse” series, which is painted in a reductive, hard-edged style with minimal detail, documents the changing placements of objects and illuminations within a particular setting, such as a kitchen table.

American, b. 1949, based in Marfa, Texas