Ridgefield

N. Dash, Untitled, 2018, adobe and silk-screen ink on jute, 80 × 54".

N. Dash

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

The comfort blanket, or “transitional object”—transitional because it typically accompanies an intermediate developmental phase—is most commonly associated with early childhood, but the adjustment period extends into adult life with striking frequency. A 2010 survey conducted by the British budget hotel chain Travelodge found that 35 percent of England’s adults still slept with a teddy bear. The phenomenon shades easily into grown-up fetishism, too—think of Frank Booth’s masochistic use of a well-loved scrap of fabric in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet (1986). So while the small pieces of white cotton that artist N. Dash carries around with her lack (fortunately!) the disturbing connotations of Frank’s talisman, they register as equally obsessive objects.

Dash rubs her material scraps between her fingers until they become dirty and unraveled, defined entirely by wear and tear. She dubs the

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