Mehdi Chouakri

N. Dash

01 May - 27 Jun 2015

1 May - 27 June 2015

Mehdi Chouakri is pleased to present the American artist N. Dash’s first solo exhibition outside of the United States. This exhibition will open on May 1, 2015, coinciding with Berlin’s eleventh Gallery Weekend.

A pivotal aspect of N. Dash’s work is the ongoing series of photographs taken of her sculptures known as Constructions, two of which are on view in this exhibition. They are made up of small cuttings of industrially produced cotton cloth that the artist works and handles until they are transformed into sculptures, which are then photographed. The resulting photographs, stapled directly to the wall of the exhibition space, represent the culmination of time passing, showing in detail their amorphous and unfixed qualities. Dash’s method of composing the Constructions is similar to the early twentieth century method of automatic drawing, or the cut-up technique used in poetry. In these photographs, individual pieces are brought together, rapidly formed and reformed into the arrested moments captured by the camera. This body of work demonstrates her interest in imbuing the abject with significance. Through this destructive, yet generative and durational way of making and enlarging the works (conceptually and photographically), the sculptures are used as a form of techné to turn perceptual information visual; and they also serve as a primary source or a database that informs the rest of the artist’s work.

Also on view is a Commuter, part of an ongoing series in which Dash touches, folds and refolds a piece of paper on her daily commute, recording transient moments and distance into the material. After wearing down the structure of the paper over a period of time, the paper is then "sealed" by the artist, in this case with oil and pigment.

The paintings in this exhibition employ a similar but expanded range of common materials: cloth, oil, dirt and pigment. The dirt takes the form of adobe, a traditional building material, gathered from the New Mexico desert. It functions as a foundation within the paintings, in which the other constituent elements are hung, layered, joined and broken into fields that both cover and reveal. These works correspond to and are contingent upon the architecture of the space in which they are displayed. The paintings thus combine atmospheric and structured elements, their legibility unfolding from multiple vantage points.

N. Dash was born in Miami Beach, Florida in 1980. She lives and works in New York and New Mexico. Her works have been shown in solo shows at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2014- 2015) and at White Flag Projects, St. Louis (2013). In addition, the artist has taken part in numerous group shows, including exhibitions at the Jewish Museum, New York (2015), MAXXI Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo, Rome (2014), Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley (2014) and the Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis (2012).

Concurrent with the exhibition at Mehdi Chouakri, works by N. Dash are also on view at the show Sculptures Also Die, curated by Lorenzo Benedetti, at Strozzina Centre for Contemporary Culture at the Palazzo Strozzi, Florence and at the Jewish Museum in New York in Repetition and Difference, curated by Jens Hoffmann.

A catalog for the exhibition will be published with an essay by David Andrew Tasman.

Tags: N. Dash, Jens Hoffmann, Jens Hoffmann