Provenance: Acquired from the artist by the current owner in 1968
Inscribed on the Verso: “This is to confirm that I acquired this painting from Stanley in 1968. It is part of a larger work that was cut down by Stanley because of dissatisfaction with the whole painting. Chris Lovell. 2013”
“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.