Aja Martin

Statement of Research Interests

Aja Martin is a doctoral Candidate in Art History studying twentieth-century art and film in Italy. Her dissertation, “But for Dark: Lucio Fontana’s Grotesque World,” underlines the significance of darkness as a meaningful counter to his propositions in light and space. Beginning with careful visual analysis, her project reveals how the works formulate vital boundaries—formal, historical, and conceptual—that can help us see Fontana’s practice as productive rather than nihilist, or concerned with the end of art.

Statement of Teaching Philosophy

I prioritize student learning and work backward from there. This approach leads me to develop and use methods that acknowledge the many ways of learning, and the broad spectrum of learners.

Other Commitments

I am a member of the Black Graduate Student Association and a Graduate Liaison for the Center for Teaching and Excellence. I am a member of various scholarly organizations and love trying out new recipes and visiting museums in my free time.


Hometown Houston, TX
Graduate Department Art History
Graduate Fields 20th-century Italian art and film