Introduction to the Exhibition
One of the most accomplished and versatile visual South African artists, Peter Clarke was born in 1929. In his early twenties, he declared that he would make his living as an artist, which was a highly unusual ambition for a young black South African at the time. Over the last sixty years, Clarke has reflected on his country’s social and political history and is often referred to as the ‘quiet chronicler’. His work constitutes a subtle critique of apartheid and its social consequences as well as more recently, aspects of the ‘new’ South Africa.
About the artist’s work
Peter Clarke’s art is about people, and in his reflection of humanity and in the contribution he has made to his country’s cultural development, he has become an inspiration to many other artists.
Although largely self-taught, Clarke was encouraged by taking informal art classes and studying European masters that he saw reproduced in books – including Picasso, and the South African modernist Gerard Sekoto (the first black artist to be represented in a South African public collection). Witty, sharp, poignant, aesthetically memorable, Clarke’s work provides an extraordinary context for discussion of his country as it prepares to celebrate 20 years since the momentous elections that brought Nelson Mandela to President.
About ‘Wind Blowing on the Cape Flats’
Wind Blowing on the Cape Flats honours Clarke’s life, work and contribution to art over sixty years and tells the story of an artist who is part of a lost generation, a voice that has been largely unheard in Europe.
The exhibition is presented by Iniva in partnership with the South African National Gallery (Iziko Museums of South Africa).
Talks and Events Programme
A series of events exploring art’s relationship to history and contemporary politics accompanies the exhibition – details to follow soon.