South African artists of the 50’s, 60, and 70’s had a tendency of heading for the famed European cities in search of artistic enlightenment. Stanley Pinker followed this trend, trading the African sun for a European chapter. His travels took him to the streets of London and France, but not before being educated at Cape Town’s own Continental School of Art.
The late 1940’s saw Pinker, who had moved from Namibia to the republic some 10 years earlier, enrol at the Continental School of Art under the guidance of Maurice van Essche. His next stop was the Hammersmith School of Art in London. He returned to South Africa for a stint at the Cape Town Art Centre during the 1960’s. His next stop was the Michaelis School of Fine Art, where he became a much loved teacher and mentor. Still remembered by an array of accomplished artists; Marlene Dumas being one of them.
His art is remembered for being a breath of fresh air, many admirers remembering his ability to incorporate some odd objects to his art. Some remembering the buttons he stitched to the back of the coats of musicians in one of his earlier paintings. Stanley Pinker’s art accumulated substantial value, Wheel of Life fetching R 2,4 million on an auction by Strauss & Co.
This artist not only had a following, he created a legacy. He held several exhibitions at SAAA, Western Cape (now AVA). He was awarded the Rembrandt Gold Medal at the Cape Town Triennial. His lifetime devotion to art also earned him the Molteno Medal. His work is housed in many of the major public galleries in South Africa as well as countless private collections, locally and abroad.
The Stanley Pinker legacy goes far beyond the canvas, this great teacher and mentor helped other along the way of artistry.