“The Bloom of the Corpse Flower” (2020) by Simphiwe Ndzube

 
On View presents images from noteworthy exhibitions
 

THE DENVER ART MUSEUM is hosting the first U.S. solo museum exhibition of Simphiwe Ndzube. Imagination is fundamental for the Los Angeles-based South African artist. For the exhibition, Ndzube created his own fantasy world within the realm of magical realism. His references include Hieronymus Bosch’s painting “The Garden of Earthly Delights” (1490–1500) and the history of post-apartheid South Africa. “Simphiwe Ndzube: Oracles of the Pink Universe” presents a new body of work, eight paintings, sculpture, and sculptural paintings. The latter are three-dimensional, mixed-media works that play with spacial intervention. Wearing second-hand clothing stitched directly onto the paintings, the characters exist within and beyond the artist’s landscapes and objects push past the picture plane into the gallery. Describing his vision, Ndzube said: “I’m going to make a world in which I am in charge in what happens to it, who are the characters in it, and what stories they play in it.” CT

 

“Simphiwe Ndzube: Oracles of the Pink Universe” on view at Denver Art Museum in Denver, Colo., from June 13-Oct. 10, 2021

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Installation view of “Simphiwe Ndzube: Oracles of the Pink Universe,” Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colo., June 13-Oct. 10, 2021. Shown, from left, “The Bloom of the Corpse Flower,” 2020 (acrylic paint on canvas and mixed media, 94 1/2 x 79 inches) and “Bhekizwe Riding through the Garden of Earthly Delights,” 2020 (polyurethane resin, found spade, welded steel, found clothing and cloth, wood, acrylic paint, silicone, spray paint, foam coat, and acrylic eyes). | Courtesy Denver Art Museum

 


Installation view of “Simphiwe Ndzube: Oracles of the Pink Universe,” Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colo., June 13-Oct. 10, 2021. | Courtesy Denver Art Museum

 


SIMPHIWE NDZUBE, “Iqhawe,” 2020 (mixed media on canvas, 76.5 x 112 inches / 194.3 x 284.5 cm). | © Simphiwe Ndzube. Photo by Marten Elder, Image courtesy the artist and Nicodim Gallery

 


Simphiwe Ndzube introduces his first solo museum exhibition at the Denver Art Museum. Watch a video of the artist discussing magical realism in his work here. | Video by Denver Art Museum

 


Installation view of “Simphiwe Ndzube: Oracles of the Pink Universe,” Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colo., June 13-Oct. 10, 2021. | Courtesy Denver Art Museum

 


Installation view of “Simphiwe Ndzube: Oracles of the Pink Universe,” Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colo., June 13-Oct. 10, 2021. | Courtesy Denver Art Museum

 


SIMPHIWE NDZUBE, “Nguni Landing,” 2021 (metal, polyurethane resins, epoxy sculpt, wire, padding, acrylic paint, synthetic fabrics and hair, found clothes, thread, 51 x 32 x 115 inches / 129.5 x 81.3 x 292.1 cm). | © Simphiwe Ndzube. Photo by Marten Elder, Image courtesy of the artist and Nicodim Gallery

 


Installation view of “Simphiwe Ndzube: Oracles of the Pink Universe,” Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colo., June 13-Oct. 10, 2021. Shown, from left, “When Grass Meets Fire” (2020) and “Whispering Landscape” (2020).| Courtesy Denver Art Museum

 


Installation view of “Simphiwe Ndzube: Oracles of the Pink Universe,” Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colo., June 13-Oct. 10, 2021. | Courtesy Denver Art Museum

 


SIMPHIWE NDZUBE, “Assertion of Will,” 2020 (mixed media on canvas; 79 x 124 inches / 200.6 x 315 cm). | © Simphiwe Ndzube. Photo by Marten Elder, Image courtesy the artist and Nicodim Gallery

 


Installation view of “Simphiwe Ndzube: Oracles of the Pink Universe,” Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colo., June 13-Oct. 10, 2021. Shown, from left, “Assertion of Will” (2020) and “Dondolo, the Witch Doctor’s Assistant” (2020). | Courtesy Denver Art Museum

 


Detail of SIMPHIWE NDZUBE, “Dondolo, the Witch Doctor’s Assistant,” 2020 (mixed media on canvas, 120 x 86 inches). | Courtesy Denver Museum of Art

 


Installation view of “Simphiwe Ndzube: Oracles of the Pink Universe,” Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colo., June 13-Oct. 10, 2021. | Courtesy Denver Art Museum

 


Simphiwe Ndzube talks about the inspiration and symbolism of his mixed-media painting “The Bloom of the Corpse Flower” (2020), which is in the collection of the Denver Art Museum. | Video by Denver Art Museum

 

TOP IMAGE: SIMPHIWE NDZUBE, “The Bloom of the Corpse Flower,” 2020 (acrylic paint on canvas and mixed media, 94 1/2 x 79 inches). | © Simphiwe Ndzube. Denver Art Museum: Funds from the Contemporary Collectors’ Circle with additional support from Vicki and Kent Logan, Catherine Dews Edwards and Philip Edwards, Craig Ponzio, Ellen and Morris Susman, and Bryon Adinoff and Trish Holland, 2021.37. Photo by Marten Elder, Courtesy the artist and Nicodim Gallery.

 

FIND MORE about the symbols and meaning in Simphiwe Ndzube’s work

FIND MORE about Simphiwe Ndzube on his website

 

BOOKSHELF
A publication accompanies the exhibition. “Simphiwe Ndzube, Oracles of the Pink Universe” includes contributions by exhibition curator Laura F. Almeida, curatorial fellow of modern and contemporary art at the Denver Art Museum; Rebecca R. Hart, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Denver Art Museum; and South African artist Phumelele Tshabalala.

 

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