Martha Hayden

I am a painter, and my paintings are about making art.

I intend my painting to be both realistic and abstract; on that elusive edge between there and not there. I want realism and abstraction to take turns. I want a big interior space that draws the viewer in with logic of its own. I try to create excitement while ordering chaos.

I am a graduate of the school of the Art Institute of Chicago. On an Art Institute fellowship, I studied in Europe with the Expressionist painter Oskar Kokoschka, winning the top award for my work. Later, I left Chicago for life in rural Wisconsin, a move that took me out of the “art world”, but left me free to work and develop in isolation. More recently, I began spending winters in New York City, and found friendships and acceptance for my work there.

I have participated in shows at the Art Institute of Chicago, Milwaukee Museum of Art, Wustum Museum in Racine (WI), Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio, El Paso (TX) Museum and many others. My work has been in over 450 regional and national exhibitions. It is in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum and the British Museum Library.



These works are a personal statement about the creative processes. They move both in and out of space and back and forth in time. Painting from observation, while considering the works of others, fuels my engine of expression and results in a synthesis of ideas that are both reflective and current. By both imposing and finding, the paintings encourage the viewer to think and reflect. The aggressive will to compose and the passive pleasure of seeking combine to make comments on thinking, seeing, creating and painting.

 Self Portrait “ Self Portrait”

oil on linen, 54 x 70

The Allegory of Painting “The Allegory of Painting”

oil on linen, 54 x 70

Luncheon on the Grass “Luncheon on the Grass”

oil on linen, 54 x 70

The Expulsion “The Expulsion”

oil on linen, 52 x 72