Nina Tichava – Invisible and Weightless (Botanical)

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Artwork Description

Invisible and Weightless (Botanical)

Dimensions: 48 x 36″
Year: 2016
Media: painting and collage on panel

Unlike many of her other works, in the mixed media piece Invisible and Weightless (Botanical), Tichava employs a more muted, earth-toned color palette that evokes many of the natural pigments seen in New Mexican landscapes and Native American fabric. The work is visually complex, yet composed of repeated forms, allowing viewers to sift through the various shapes and uncover Tichava’s attention to process and pattern.

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