Stanley Faraday Pinker

(1924 - 2012)

About

“My aim is to communicate with everybody, not selectively. I feel that art, literature, music, and painting provide spiritual support. They should move the spirit and make us aware, and in that way I intend my paintings to make statements... I believe that art is one of the major optimisms, it is a life-support system, an affirmation of life.” Stanley Pinker.

Stanley Pinker was born in Windhoek, Namibia (then South West Africa) in 1924. Although he moved from there when he was merely six years old, the haunting landscapes which he encountered there would remain in his memory for many years to come.  His initial art training was at the Continental Art School in Cape Town, between 1947 and 1950, under the supervision of Maurice van Essche. Originally he had enrolled to study graphic design, but with his first contact with the fine arts, soon left his chosen commercial arts.

In 1954 he left South Africa to study lithography at Hammersmith School of Art in London, where he was trained by Alistair Grant. Pinker briefly interrupted his time in Europe to return to South Africa for his first solo exhibition, but felt a strong need to return to Europe to be further stimulated by his encounters there. For the next ten years, both London and Nice were considered home.

In 1964, Pinker returned to South Africa where he settled in Cape Town and joined the newly-established Cape Town Art Centre as a teacher. At this time, the SA Association of Arts Gallery had closed for renovations, and left Cape Town without a gallery for exhibitions. This encouraged Pinker, along with his contemporaries established the Artists’ Gallery in 1965 which would then provide exhibition space for the artists of Cape Town. The Artists’ Gallery offered a platform for Pinker, as well as other artists to exhibit their work, however, this did not hold financial security for the artist and he tried his hand at various jobs, from illustrating magazines to offering private art classes.

Pinker was offered a temporary teaching post in 1969 at the Michaelis School of Art by his former tutor Maurice van Essche. Admittedly, he would rather have been producing art, but in retrospect the opportunity he was offered led him on an ongoing journey of study which benefited his own work tremendously. Gradually, through promotion, Pinker was appointed in a full-time position at Michaelis School of Art where he taught until 1986.

Pinker’s work is strongly influenced by the principles of the European movements with which he came into contact with, such as Cubism which has instilled in him a respect for the flatness of the canvas and a structured use of form and colour. He employs many Cubist devises in his works and combines these formal elements with his own personal symbols. Although he maintains a loyalty to figurative imagery, Pinker intends to make more profound and enigmatic observations about experiences that can be conveyed in a realistic description of natural appearances. Thus, in his art, he attempts to create a new dimension within his canvases through the distortion of space and recomposition of the elements which are observable in reality, within this new environment.

  • Chronology

    1924

    Born in Windhoek, Namibia (South West Africa)

    1930

    Moved to South Africa

    1947 - 1950

    Studied at the Continental School of Art, Cape Town

    1952

    Two of his works reproduced in an article on South African art by Walter Battiss, published in ‘The Studio’

    Left for London to gain further experience

    1954-56

    Studied Lithography at Hammersmith School of Art, London

    1954

    Visited South African and held his first solo exhibition

    Returned to Europe, lived mainly in London and Nice for the next 10 years

    1964

    Returned to Cape Town

    Joined the Cape Town Art Centre as a teacher

    1966

    Awarded Second Prize for Painting on ‘Artists of Fame & Promise’ Competition

    1969

    Appointed lecturer at Michaelis School, Cape Town

    1976

    Worked in Paris for 3 months with an exhibition in Cape Town on his return

  • Studies

    1947 - 1950

    Continental School of Art, Cape Town, under Maurice van Essche

    1954 - 1956

    Lithography at the Hammersmith School of Art, London, under Alistair Grant

  • Exhibitions

    1949

    Continental School of Art exhibition, SA Association of Arts, Cape Town (January)

    1952

    International Art Club exhibition, SA Association of Arts Cape Town (February)

    Van Riebeek Festival, Cape Town

    1954

    New Group Graphic exhibition, HAUM Gallery, Cape Town (May)

    Solo Exhibition, SA Association of Art, Cape Town (May)

    1955

    Hampstead Arts Festival, London

    Daily Express Young Artists’ Exhibition, New Burlington Galleries, London

    1958

    St Pancras Arts Festival, London

    Solo Exhibition, Fontainebleau Gallery, Northumberland Avenue, London

    1959

    Solo Exhibition (drawings and watercolours), High Hill Gallery, Hampstead, London

    St Pancras Arts Festival, London

    Group Exhibition, The Partisan, London

    1960

    Private Exhibition of Graphic Art, Michael Berger’s Home, London

    World without War, Suffolk Gallery, London

    1961

    Sixteen Painters, AIA Gallery, Leicester Square, London

    Arnold Wesker’s Resolution 42 Exhibition, London

    St Pancras Arts Festival, London

    AIA Summer Exhibition, Leicester Square, London

    1962

    First Group Exhibition: Four Painters and a Sculptor, exhibition tour starting at South London Gallery and continuing to other major cities in England

    Irish Exhibition of Living Art, Dublin

    1964

    Solo Exhibition, SA Association of Arts, Cape Town (January)

    Group Show, SA Association of Arts

    Cape Salon, SA Association of Arts

    Graphic Exhibition, Gallery Shear, Cape Town

    1965

    Contrasts (joint exhibition with Helmut Starcke), SA Association of Arts, Cape Town (January)

    São Paulo Biennale

    Mixed Graphic Exhibition, SA Association of Arts, Cape Town

    1966

    Solo Exhibition, Artists’ Gallery, Cape Town (July)

    Artists of Fame and Promise, Adler Fielding Galleries, Johannesburg

    SA Breweries Exhibition, SA National Gallery, Cape Town

    SA Art of the 20th Century, University of Stellenbosch Art Gallery, Stellenbosch

    1967

    Artists’ Gallery, Cape Town

    1968

    SA Breweries Biennale, SA National Gallery, Cape Town

    Solo Exhibition, Artists’ Gallery, Cape Town (April)

    1969

    Picture-Poems, Artists’ Gallery, Cape Town

    Studies from the Nude, Artists’ Gallery, Cape Town

    1970

    Solo Exhibition, SA Association of Arts, Johannesburg (September)

    Solo Exhibition, Gallery International, Cape Town (November)

    Cape Art, National Museum, Bloemfontein

    Inaugural exhibition, Bulawayo Art Gallery, Rhodesia

    1971

    Solo Exhibition, Gallery International, Cape Town (October)

    São Paulo Biennale

    1972

    Solo Exhibition, SA Association of Arts, Cape Town (September)

    1974

    Solo Exhibition, SA Association of Art, Cape Town (July)

    Contemporary South African Art, National Gallery of Greece, Athens

    50 Years: Michaelis School of Fine Art, SA National Gallery, Cape Town

    1975

    Cape Art, SA Association of Arts, Cape Town

    1976

    Solo Exhibition, SA Association of Arts, Cape Town (May)

    Joint Exhibition, SA Association of Arts, Cape Town (August)

    Solo Exhibition, Gallery International, Cape Town

    1977

    Solo Exhibition, University of Stellenbosch Art Gallery, Stellenbosch (catalogue)(June)

    Perth Festival, Australia

    1978

    Visies/Visions, University of Stellenbosch Art Gallery, Stellenbosch

    1979

    Solo Exhibition, SA Association of Arts, Cape Town (August)

    Cape Town Biennale, SA National Gallery, Cape Town

    1980

    Sanlam Collection, Cape Town

    1982

    Under Glass, Irma Stern Museum, Cape Town

    1983

    Retrospective, King George VI Gallery, Port Elizabeth (May), and SA National Gallery, Cape Town

    1984

    Solo Exhibition, SA Association of Arts, Cape Town (May)

    1985

    2nd Triennial, SA National Gallery, Cape Town (September)

    1990

    Solo Exhibition, SA Association of Arts, Cape Town (August)

    1992

    Joint Exhibition, SA Association of Arts, Cape Town (October)

    2000

    Solo Exhibition (eine kleine introspective), SA Association of Arts, Cape Town (August)

    2004

    Group Exhibition (with Peter Clarke and Hylton Nel), Michael Stevenson, Cape Town (December)

  • Collections

    Public Collections – South Africa

    • Rembrandt Art Foundation collection

    Corporate Collections – South Africa

    • BMD Collection, Cape Town
    • Chase Manhattan Bank Collection
    • Sanlam Collection
    • Capricorn Holdings Collection
    • Spier collection, Stellenbosch

    Galleries & Museums

    • South African National Gallery, Cape Town
    • Johannesburg Art Gallery
    • Pretoria Art Museum
    • Ann Bryant Gallery, East London
    • Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum Collection, Port Elizabeth
    • Tatham Art Gallery collection, Pietermaritzburg
    • Oliewenhuis Art Museum collection, Bloemfontein

    Universities

    • Johannes Stegmann Gallery, University of the Free State collection, Bloemfontein
    • University of Pretoria collection

    Private Collections

    • London
    • New Zealand
    • South Africa
  • Awards

    1985

    Rembrandt Gold Medal, Cape Town Triennial