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  • Tuesday-Wednesday: Closed
  • Thursday: 10am-5pm
  • Friday: 10am-7pm
  • Saturday: 10am-5pm
  • Sunday: 10am-5pm

1606 Paseo de Peralta
Santa Fe, NM 87501


N. Dash

Dash_Michael Straus
Dash_Michael Straus
N. Dash, Untitled (detail), 2023, photo by Jason Wyche
N. Dash: and Water installed at SITE SANTA FE, 2023, photo by Brad Trone
N. Dash: and Water installed at SITE SANTA FE, 2023, photo by Brad Trone
N. Dash: and Water installed at SITE SANTA FE, 2023, photo by Brad Trone

and Water

and Water is a solo exhibition of recent works by New York–based artist N. Dash, featuring the spare, ecologically driven paintings for which the artist is internationally known. Dash’s work harmonizes subtle energy systems by transforming humble substances through the fundamental forces of touch, attention, and care. The unconventional idiom of these paintings speaks of experience beyond language, of that which can be felt in the body but never fully articulated—of being human on this earth, entangled in its web of wildness and sublimity.

Works in and Water exemplify many of Dash’s most significant practices: harnessing the interaction of earth and water to create topographical fields of desiccated mud, layering commercial silk-screen technology onto nontraditional grounds, and arranging readymade manufactured objects—water bottles, agricultural netting, architectural insulation—alongside organic materials. Dash’s “fabric sculptures,” fashioned by working pieces of machine-loomed cotton between fingers and thumb for long durations until the gridded threads collapse into disorderly tangles, are also present in these works as silk-screened images. To make these diminutive works, Dash slowly unfastens a manufactured product through persistent labor, creating a form that magnifies the power of human touch. These gritty, idiosyncratic totems, which evoke the realm of the preverbal transitional object, are potent emblems of entropy and energetic change.

The paintings on view directly engage with collective ecological anxiety. At a time when human alienation from the environment is widespread, these works center tactility and engagement with actual earth: planes of mud are left to parch, forming cracks and tiny furrows that recall mammalian skin. These dermal fields, onto which the artist variously layers paint, silk-screen ink, or burnished graphite, reveal a microcosm of soil’s “matrix”—its complex structure of minerals, air, water, microbes, and organic matter. Dirt’s heterogeneous substrate is at once porous and crystalline, full of empty space and swarming with life; Dash’s paintings likewise paradoxically offer both restraint and plenitude, emptiness and complexity. The experience of viewing these works is not unlike observing the natural world: given close attention, even vistas that initially appear austere teem with vital details.

Though these paintings are in dialogue with the lineages of post-Minimalism, Land Art, and Arte Povera, rather than mining those art-historical precedents, the works arise from an ethic of elevating the overlooked, marginal, or unseen. By subtly blending diverse plant, mineral, and synthetic matter, Dash invokes visible and invisible forms of movement and pattern—bodily meridians, architectural circulation, and environmental flux—conjuring connectivity rather than separation.

Thank You!

Support for and Water is generously provided by
SITE SANTA FE’s Board of Directors
SITE SANTA FE Exhibitions Fund
Gay Block and Billie Parker
Marleen De Bode and Marc Olivié
Steven Pulimood
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
Michael Straus
Rosina Yue
Special Thanks to Quentin Wilson and Maria Wilson


N. Dash

N. Dash 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 ...LEARN MORE