Simphiwe Ndzube is one of the best-known names amongst South Africa’s young contemporary artists. Ndzube’s introduction to formal art training came in 2010 when he studied painting and art history at the Peter Clarke Art Centre before he enrolled at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at The University of Cape Town. Upon his graduation in 2015, Ndzube was the recipient of the Michaelis Art Prize, the school’s most prestigious award.
The following year, Ndzube worked as an artist-in-residence at the historically significant Greatmore Studios in Woodstock, Cape Town. During this time, he was selected as the winner of the Tollman Award for the Visual Arts – an award whose list of recipients, including Nicholas Hlobo and Wim Botha, have gone on to become the country’s leading artists.
Ndzube works in mixed media and assemblage to create paintings, sculpture, and installations. The figures and compositions he depicts exist within the artist’s own imagined universe and often tell stories centred on power and conflict. The artist employs mythology and magical realism to explore the experience of people of colour in a post-apartheid South Africa.
Ndzube currently lives and works in Los Angeles. His work is held in important collections across the US, Europe and South Africa including at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); Musée d’art Contemporain de Lyon, France; the Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town and the Rubell Museum, Miami. He has presented solo shows both in his home country and abroad. In 2021, he was recognised with a solo museum show Oracles of the Pink Universe at the Denver Art Museum, Colorado.