Southern Comfort, 2023
Cast insulation foam, epoxy clay aquaresin, resin, wood, plastic, silver leaf, scenic moss, keys, sneaker, and organic material
43 x 95 x 53 1/8 inches (109.2 x 241.3 x 134.9 cm)
Brandon Ndife works to unsettle the life cycles of consumer objects, using found furniture culled from the urban landscape as the basis for his sculptures. Overrun with vegetation and impending signs of both ripening and rot, the works appear like relics unearthed from a distant past or envoys of a dystopian future. Ndife is drawn to domestic items that bear the trace of their absent owners, through signs of wear or broader symbolic ties to American life under capitalism—riven by racial, class, and now ecological disparities that take root in all we touch.
His elaborate constructions depart from used shelves, desks, and cabinetry—units of household organization gone radically to seed. These discards are often cast in synthetic resin or polyurethane foam, forming meticulous replicas that keep the readymade tradition at a subtle remove. Trained as a painter, his surfaces are exactingly hand-colored to achieve trompe l'oeil effects, melding sculptural legacies from the assembled debris of Noah Purifoy to the material uncanny of Paul Thek or Robert Gober. In Ndife’s composites, wild growth seems poised to overtake the built environment, with all its structural exclusions; for him, the works "operate as portals that get us thinking about objects that are larger than our systems, larger than ourselves."
Brandon Ndife (b. 1991, Hammond, IN) lives and works in New York. His work is currently on view at the ICA Boston in Taylor Davis Selects: Invisible Ground of Sympathy (through January 7, 2024). Recent solo exhibitions include Matthew Brown Gallery, Los Angeles (2022); Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, New York (2022); Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut (2022); Bureau, New York (2020, 2019); Shoot the Lobster, New York (2018); and Interstate Projects, Brooklyn (2016). Notable group exhibitions include Greene Naftali, New York (2023); Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Sint-Martens-Latem, Belgium (2022); Soft Water Hard Stone, New Museum Triennial, New York (2021); and the Aspen Art Museum (2020). A graduate of The Cooper Union and Bard College, Ndife’s work is in the collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art and The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York.
BRANDON NDIFE discussing Shade Tree with Chief Curator, Nora Lawrence for Storm King Art Center, 2022
Outlooks: BRANDON NDIFE, Storm King Art Center, 2022
BRANDON NDIFE in discussion with Andrew Woolbright for The Brooklyn Rail, 2022
Art, Entropy, and Quarantine with BRANDON NDIFE for Art in America, 2020