Simphiwe Ndzube, The Bloom of the Corpse Flower, 2020. Acrylic paint on canvas and mixed media; 94-1/2 x 79 in. ©Simphiwe Ndzube. Image courtesy of the artist and Nicodim Gallery. Photo by Christie Hayden. Denver Art Museum purchase consideration, with funds from the Contemporary Collectors' Circle.

Adventure through the Pink Universe

Activities inspired by Simphiwe Ndzube: Oracles of the Pink Universe

Simphiwe Ndzube, The Bloom of the Corpse Flower, 2020. Acrylic paint on canvas and mixed media; 94-1/2 x 79 in. ©Simphiwe Ndzube. Image courtesy of the artist and Nicodim Gallery. Photo by Christie Hayden. Denver Art Museum purchase consideration, with funds from the Contemporary Collectors' Circle.

About the Universe

South African artist Simphiwe Ndzube’s first U.S. solo museum exhibition, Simphiwe Ndzube: Oracles of the Pink Universe, presents nine new works exploring the interplay between magical realism and history. Magical realism infuses reality with elements of the fantastical and was first utilized by artists in Latin America.

The exhibition integrates themes related to power, conflict, and the search for freedom through the Pink Universe. The Pink Universe is an imaginative world that combines fantasy with the history of Ndzube’s post-apartheid South Africa.

Read Together

How do artists combine fantastical elements and reality? Consider how imagination transforms even the most ordinary environments with this book and art pairing. Compare how Ndzube combines fantasy and history in his art with how author Carson Ellis combines fantasy and reality in the children’s book Du Iz Tak?

A child's collage made from fabric, paper, cardboard, leaves, and yarn. It resembles a waterfall scene.
Artwork Title: Havasu Falls
Name: Natalia
"Havasu Falls in Arizona is one of the most magical places. It inspires me."

Create Together

Simphiwe Ndzube often collaged photos into many of his figures and creatures. Using this same method of collage, bring your own imagined universe to reality.

Related Creativity Resources

Book titled "Du Iz Tak?" by Carson Ellis
Book Recommendation

Du Iz Tak?

Written by Carson Ellis
Du Iz Tak? is a story about two bugs who discover a mysterious plant coming up from the ground written in a completely made-up language. Readers are invited to use context clues and illustrations to interpret what is being said. Like Simphiwe Ndzube's Bloom of the Corpse Flower, Du Iz Tak? reimagines our world into something more fantastical and mysterious.
A child's collage made from fabric, paper, cardboard, leaves, and yarn. It resembles a waterfall scene.
Art Exploration

Create Your Own Universe

Inspired by Simphiwe Ndzube’s The Bloom of the Corpse Flower
Create your very own universe in this fun art exercise! Simphiwe Ndzube often collaged photos into many of his figures and creatures. Make your own collage and construct an imagined universe unique to you.
Four kids posing in makeshift Samurai suit and armor
Thematic Collection

The Art of the Samurai

Suit of Armor and Helmet is a unique object in our collection that looks functional but was actually made in admiration of Samurai’s of the past. Take a closer look at how this suit of armor balances delicate details and symbols of fierceness and consider what faithfulness, loyalty, and dedication might have meant in 18th century Japan.
Young boy pointing at a painting
Thematic Collection

Stepping Back in Time

Activities inspired by The 19th Century in European and American Art
Explore artworks from the museum’s collection by Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Paul Cézanne, Édouard Manet, Willard Leroy Metcalf, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Childe Hassam, and others that tell a story about a complex time in Europe and America.