You broke the ocean in half to be here
Dimensions: 60 x 40″
Media: acrylic, ink, charcoal, graphite, pen, paper,
brass on panel
Tichava’s mixed media work uses visual elements to complement the painting’s title; while the work is dominated by layers of circular forms, a loose, grid-like patterning dividing the organic elements evokes the splitting referenced in the name. The work captures a sense of movement, both by the ways viewers eyes move throughout the visual arrangements and through the work’s color and formal contrast.
Nina Tichava is a young New Mexico artist who was awarded a Pollock-Krasner Fellowship for her innovative art practice. Tichava attended art school at the prestigious California College of Art, and her works are subtly inspired by her upbringing in New Mexico in a family of weavers. Tichava’s paintings incorporate movement and levity, with an exciting, dynamic palette.
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