Martha Hughes

b. 1949

Martha Hughes

Martha Hughes in her studio in Marfa, TX

Martha Hughes received a BFA in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin. Her work has been included in numerous solo and group shows across the USA, including exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, New Orleans, Austin, Santa Fe, NM, and Denver, CO. Hughes’ art can be found in several public and private collections around the world, including the Lannan Foundation, Santa Fe, NM and the Sybaris Collection, Mexico City. Hughes works in various mediums, including painting, drawing, photography, and computer-based media. The artist has resided in Marfa, Texas, since 2004.


Her Scenes series simultaneously explores the disorientation of being human in a manufactured world and the potential of that world. These paintings portray everyday, prosaic interiors and landscapes: static views inspired by glossy magazine spreads with carefully staged photographs. Images of impossibly pristine, impeccably beautiful houses, gardens, and pools. Hughes has stripped these down to their barest colors, distorting angles and proportions, to fabricate the momentary uneasiness one can unexpectedly feel in familiar spaces. Her goal is to mirror the times in our lives when we are caught off guard by places and situations of our own making.

Works in the Timelapse series stem from the artist’s interest in animation and the way things change over time. Hughes photographs the same domestic scene over a period of days, months, or years; then creates paintings based on the photographs.

Similarly, the Repetition series comprises works composed of repetitive marks in a limited grid, typically based on centimeter-sized units. As in the animated film, small changes from frame-to-frame – or across the paper – create motion.

Martha Hughes latest series, Untitled,  incorporates many of the concepts that have been the basis of her work for many years. Each large, dynamic shape on these canvases is composed of thousands of obsessively applied small brushstrokes that give the works a hand-made texture, evoking patience and unhurried attention – qualities Hughes has come to value in our wired, electronic, computer-saturated environment