Brandon Ndife Ditches Painting for Sculptural Portals
Art Young Artists 2021

Brandon Ndife Ditches Painting for Sculptural Portals

Brandon Ndife officially broke up with painting more than a decade ago, but they still flirt. The sculptures that the Indiana-born, New York-based artist phased into bear the marks of oil’s licks but without all the canvas fuss. Instead, recent works use ready-made containers of domestic life like cabinetry, desks and shelves as the foundation for rowdy new amalgams that push familiar signifiers of comfort and order into uncategorizable entropy. At “MY ZONE,” Ndife’s solo debut at Bureau gallery in March 2020, the silhouettes of a sconce, a door and a side table, altered by polyurethane foam, corn husk and aqua resin excrescences, arrived barely recognizable as themselves. Abetted by the institutional lighting, the tableaux invoked the image of an examiner reconstituting an accident in their studio for further study, poring over the hand-painted wreckage. If these homey leftovers were once completely scorched by disaster, here they were presented in recovery, in fungal rebound. Ndife imitates the creeping tendrils of new life with abstract-expressive gestures and various plastics, and his painterly handiwork and precise coloring have been described as verging on trompe l’oeil illusion.

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