Dyani White Hawk


Not on view



Handmade tile mosaic

Overall: 174 × 369 1/2in. (442 × 938.5 cm)

Accession number

Credit line
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Whitney Acquisition Fund

Rights and reproductions
© Dyani White Hawk


Dyani White Hawk made this site-specific installation, Nourish, using thousands of handmade ceramic tiles. In her work, White Hawk draws from the long history of Lakota abstraction in beadwork, painting, and quillwork (a form of embroidery using porcupine quills). She also situates her work in dialogue with American Modernism and Abstract Expressionist painters such as Marsden Hartley and  Jackson Pollock, who cited Native American art as an influence and yet were credited as some of the originators of American abstraction. White Hawk notes that her work "places Native arts front and center, to implore people to think critically about how we talk about intersections of our artistic histories and to honor the legacies and lineages of Indigenous women and relatives who have shaped the ongoing artistic history of this land."

For Nourish, White Hawk used colors rooted in Lakota bead and quillwork aesthetic traditions. The mosaic’s subtle shifts in color mimic gradients found in the natural world. White Hawk uses this palette to set what she calls an "emotional tone" for this space of rest, reflection, and nourishment.