Life energy is not present in all works of art, but it is abundantly active in the paintings on paper of Ife Nii-Owoo. A pair read like quilts, though pieced together not from fabric swatches but painted squares of colorful patterns that alternate with family and other portrait photography, applied via transfer technique; Black Lives Matters slogans; illustrations of hibiscus flowers and other botanicals; and the Adinkra symbols of Ghana, where the artist studied in the late 1970s. As gridded and square as are these works, two others by Nii-Owoo are concentric and circular, expanding outwards from central figures, one of whom is masked. What emanates are lizards and leaves, spirals and dots and zigzags, in shades of blue and green, like the ocean and the forest. Everything in these pictures vibrates with noise and cascades in waves, never quite still or truly silent, like life.
—Lori Waxman 10/15/2023 1:35 PM