05 Feb 2024 / 06 Oct 2023

N. Dash: and Water

SITE SANTA FE presents and Water, a solo exhibition of recent works by N. Dash featuring the spare, ecologically driven paintings for which the artist has become internationally known.

The new paintings in the exhibition highlight some of the artist’s most significant aesthetic and conceptual approaches: harnessing the interaction of earth and water to create vertical topographical fields of desiccated mud; layering commercial printing technology onto the paintings’ prepared grounds; and arranging readymade found objects and industrial detritus—water bottles, agricultural netting, architectural insulation—alongside natural materials. Dash’s “fabric sculptures,” diminutive forms created when the artist rubs pieces of cloth to the point of disintegration, also appear in these works as silkscreened images. These idiosyncratic, somatic sculptures are potent emblems of entropy, complexity, and change. Dash’s work draws from a deep connection to the land and an awareness of environmental and material transformations. Often beginning with troweled base layers of excavated earth, the artist then aggregates numerous materials and processes on these grounds to create complex visual terrains. Works on view in and Water feature expanses of graphite burnished to radiance; strata of earth cut through by lengths of string; and layers of silkscreen ink that reproduce color fields of rosettes—a visual artifact resembling floral blooms formed during the mechanical halftone printing process—as well as images of Dash’s fabric sculptures enlarged to monumental proportions.

Though Dash’s work is conversant with lineages such as post-Minimalism, Land Art, and Arte Povera, the center of Dash’s work lies not in mining historical precedents but rather in a steadfast commitment to exploring subtle energy systems and unseen elemental processes. Animated by the underlying tension between the industrially produced and the handmade, Dash’s practice harnesses the unpredictability of natural materials and transmutes their potent energies.

Artist Bio

N. Dash (b. 1980, Miami, Florida) lives and works in New York. Dash received an MFA from Columbia University, New York in 2010 and a BA from New York University, New York in 2003. Dash has presented solo exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (S.M.A.K.), Ghent, Belgium (2022); Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (2019); The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield (2019); Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, Italy (2017); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2014); and White Flag Projects, St. Louis (2013). The artist’s work has been presented in institutional group exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2021, 2018, 2013); Dallas Museum of Art (2018); The Flag Art Foundation, New York (2018); Sammlung Goetz, Munich, Germany (2018); Les Brasseurs Art Contemporain, Liège, Belgium (2018); Birmingham Museum of Art (2017); Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (2016, 2014); Jewish Museum, New York (2015); Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy (2015); MAXXI Museum, Rome, Italy (2014) and others. Dash’s work is included in the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Dallas Museum of Art; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Blanton Museum of Art, Austin; Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (S.M.A.K.), Ghent, Belgium; Frac des Pays de la Loire, Carquefou, France; Sammlung Goetz, Munich, Germany; among others.