Art History Ph.D. candidate Aja Martin has been awarded the Amici di Via Gabina Travel Grant of $5,000 for her research project. The research award will allow Aja to advance her dissertation which seeks to reassess Italo-Argentine artist, Lucio Fontana. Her project, "Chain of Shadows: Lucio Fontana's Concetto Spaziale, Teatrini" expands Fontana literature and argues for the significance of the “Spatial Concept: ‘Little Theaters’" series within the artist's oeuvre, and the broader postwar Italian artistic milieu. Aja shows how these open-faced shadow boxes extend the long dialogue between painting and the theater to present a peculiar formulation of the 'autonomous' art object.
Aja Martin writes on modern art in Europe with a focus on Italy. Her current research on the artist Lucio Fontana's lesser-studied series attempts to understand how these works, in various media, impact our understanding of his seemingly nihilist claims for painting.