Cirrus Editions, Ltd. is pleased to announce their first print with Simphiwe Ndzube. The print, titled Iqhawe, is a multicolor lithograph with collage elements and comes in an edition of 50. Iqhawe means “the hero” in Isixhosa, Ndzube’s home language. The figure in the print is a fictional character made up by the artist and based on myths of Xhosa hero warriors as well as Joseph Campbell’s notion of the hero’s journey--encountering struggle, respite, and eventually freedom. The hero in this portrait, looking back, his eyes partially ahead of his body, while offering an open palm forward, becomes a symbol of rebirth and fits within the overall narrative of Ndzube’s work that stitches together a subjective account of the black experience in post-apartheid South Africa from a mythological perspective. During the process of making the print, Ndzube used painting, drawing and collage techniques that we recognize from his material vocabulary in his paintings and sculptures. While the character is made up, literally through eight layers of color and collage and conceptually as a mythical hero, the hand and the eye are cut from photographs of the artist. The combined analog and digital techniques play with our visual perception, the gaze and blur the line between reality and fantasy.
To hear more about Nzdube's practice listen to the in-depth conversation between the artist and Lindsay Preston Zappas for The Carla Podcast, here.
Simphiwe Ndzube (b. 1990, Cape Town, South Africa) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA and Cape Town, South Africa. He received his BFA from the Michaelis School of Fine Arts in 2015. Ndzube’s work is characterised by a fundamental interplay between objects, media and two-dimensional surfaces; stitching together a subjective account of the black experience in post-apartheid South Africa from a mythological persepective. Recent exhibitions include INXS: Major Never Before Seen Works by Simphiwe Ndzube, Moffat Takadiwa, and Zhou Yilun, Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles, USA (2020); Hollywood Babylon: A Re-Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome, Nicodim, Jeffrey Deitch, and AUTRE Magazine, Los Angeles, USA (2020); Where Water Comes Together With Other Water, The 15th Lyon Biennale, Lyon, France (2019); People, Jeffrey Deitch, Los Angeles, USA (2019); In the Order of Elephants After the Rain, Galeria Nicodim, Bucharest, Romania (2019, solo); New Acquisitions, The Rubell Museum, Miami, USA (2018); NOISE!, The Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, The Netherlands (2018); Waiting for Mulungu, The CC Foundation, Shanghai, China (2018, solo); Bharbarosi, Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles, USA (2017, solo); and Becoming, WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town, South Africa (2016, solo). His work can be found in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon, Lyon, France, and the Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa, among others.