A man couldn’t make a habit of such color
Dimensions: 40.5 x 60.5″
Media: paint, collage on canvas
While Tichava’s work is dominated by amorphous circles layered over parallel and intersecting lines, the mixed media work is rendered delicate by underlying texture and patterning. Below the bold blues and warmer tones, lie systems of collaged dots, echoing the shapes that first draw viewers into the piece. There is a sense of history to the work—evoking questions over history and process leading to the production of A Man Couldn’t Make a Habit of Such a Color.
Nina Tichava draws from her familial and personal ties to New Mexico to inform a body of work that can be described as both organic and geometric. Building upon her parents’ artistic practices, including photography and weaving, Tichava uses visual language to reference Native American culture and overcome the barriers imposed by her non-native heritage. While her mixed media works often use repetitive patterning, Tichava describes her work as abstract and informed by artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Agnes Martin, and Frank Stella. Her work relies on processes of layering, building intricate patterning and layers of pigment to generate finished products that are at once auto-biographical and visually complex; by superimposing colors and shapes, Tichava suggests that the various layers reference layers of personal experience. Tichava uses materials such as paper, paint, and beads to render three-dimensional weaving onto otherwise two-dimensional canvases, allowing her to work as weaver, painter, and sculptor and produce works that cannot be defined by a single genre.
By Keira Seidenberg, Art History/Gender Studies student, McGill University