N. Dash (b. 1980, US) seeks to record bodily intelligence and to emphasise the primacy of touch. She mainly works with natural materials such as linen, clay and adobe to open up forms of communication outside the parameters of spoken language. The linen canvases function as idiosyncratic recording devices: the information is transferred and indexed through the hands onto the tabula rasa of the canvas. Touch predates human language and to this day covers a universe which we don't know much about, and this because it is often inspired by intuition, genetics and social convention.
Adobe–which is dirt–is excavated from the desert and shipped to her studio in New York where it is rendered to make a mud plaster, at which time the earth shifts from the horizontal plane to the wall. The paintings are built up out of several parts which always stand independently from one another as well as beside and above one another, thereby creating a whole.
Dash always has a piece of factory-made fabric in her trouser pocket that she obsessively handles with her fingers until it loses its structure and disintegrates completely. The remaining fibres of textile are then photographed in order to arrest different iterations of the fabric and to sanitise its abject remains. By being documented, the specks are again given a sculptural presence of their own.
Born in Miami, Florida, in 1980, N. Dash earned a BA from New York University in 2003 and an MFA from Columbia University, New York, in 2010. Dash has had solo exhibitions at White Flag Projects, St. Louis, 2013; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, 2014-2015; and Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2017. Work has been included in group exhibitions at White Flag Projects, 2012; Abron Arts Center, New York, 2013; Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, California, 2014; MAXXI Museo Nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome, 2014; Pier 54 High Line, New York, 2014; Jewish Museum, New York, 2015; Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, 2015; The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2017 and others. A solo exhibition at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum will be held in 2019.
The work is in the public collections of The Guggenheim Museum in New York, The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, SF MoMA in San Francisco, Sammlung Goetz in Munich, FRAC des Pays de la Loire in Carquefou, The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, The Margulies Collection in Miami, The Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, S.M.A.K. in Ghent, The Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, and others.
Press release courtesy Zeno X Gallery.