Kenyon College

Tristan Neviska


Back Porch. 2013.
Wood, Plaster, Turf Rug. 24x24x5 inches. 

Attic Space. 2013.
Wood, metal screws, ceramic. 2x2x2 feet. 

Wall of Plaques. 2013.
Wood, metal screws. 2x4x4 feet. 

Garage. 2013.
Wood. 24x32x5 feet. 

Cedar Closet. 2013.
Wood, metal screws, metal fixtures. 2.5×2.5×2.5 feet. 


In my artwork, I strive to recreate my connection to place and atmospheres within. Sometimes I imagine myself as a great world-builder. With my tools, I create worlds that previously only existed in my head and watch as others interact with these places. I have only built their set, it is time for them to write the story. Other times, I am merely a three-dimensional portraitist, using my tools to form not only my materials into a representative forms, but to shape the viewer’s emotions as well. I want the viewer to experience feelings and emotions while viewing my work that are unique to them, but that are influenced by my own experiences of a real place.

In my current work, I have chosen to create wall sculptures based on a specific location from my memory: my grandparent’s house. This house was a second home to me, a consistent center of warmth, love, and family. It is in this house that some of my earliest memories take place. In the years since the house was sold, I have come to appreciate the monumental impact that time spent in this house had on my development. The pieces all reflect specific spots in the house that are particularly powerful or clear in my memory. These sculptures act like shrines or effigies to the a structure that became not only a shelter for me, but a member of my family. 

The sculptures themselves follow an abstract and somewhat minimalist aesthetic. Instead of building a three-dimensional portrait of the house, I have chosen to represent it through references to the house’s structural materials and functions. Working in a style inspired by minimalist greats such as Richard Artschwager, Liza Lou, and Donald Judd, I am attempting to tell a story only by small references in a mostly formalistic approach. The pieces are largely symmetrical, a physical metaphor I use for the stability that the house represented in my life. Moments of asymmetry, much like times of emotional distress and chaos in my life, are contained by the stability of the symmetry, much like the warm embrace of the house could calm me in times of suffering.

The series is deeply personal and documentary while simultaneously vague and formalist. The viewer is invited to peek into my story, while the unspecified narrative acts as an entry point for each viewer to explore their own memories of home, childhood, and family.

-Tristan Neviska ‘13


Tristan Neviska
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