Stanley Faraday Pinker

(1924 – 2012)

“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.

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

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

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)

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

1985

Rembrandt Gold Medal, Cape Town Triennial

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