For more than twenty-five years Martha Madigan has been creating photograms that refer to, record and/or transform aspects of nature and the human figure. Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1950, Madigan studied at the University of Wisconsin at Madison (B.S.) and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (M.F.A.). Throughout her career, she has explored a variety of light-sensitive materials from the earliest cyanotype process to the latest technology in digital color photography. Working predominantly under the sunlight of Pennsylvania and Maine with models who are most often her own three children, Madigan seeks to find “the essential truth in the teachings of nature; death and life as a continuum; the temporary nature of the body; and the struggle between human desire and spiritual evolution.”
For Madigan, her work is a direct experience of light and the fragility of life through the seasons. A professor a Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia since 1979, Madigan has been honored with numerous awards of distinction including a 1996 Leeway Grant for Excellence in Photography. In 1996, the Haggerty Art Museum in Milwaukee organized her first solo museum exhibition, and that same year she completed her first public commission: the signature artwork for the CoreStates Center sports arena in Philadelphia. Madigan is represented in numerous museum collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, The Detroit Institute of Arts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.