Clarke, Peter

Simonstown, Cape Town, 1929

Ocean View, Cape Town, 2014

1959: Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town. 1959-1963: Rijks Academie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 1976: Atelier Nord, Oslo, Norway.

1975: Honorary Fellow in Writing, University of Iowa, USA. 1982: Diploma of Merit in Art, Academia Italia. 1983: Honorary Member of the Museum of African American Art, Los Angeles, USA. 1982: Honorary Doctor of Literature, World Academy of Arts and Culture, Taipei, Taiwan.

1951 onwards: Group exhibitions South Africa, Germany, Brazil, Austria, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium, USA, Argentina, Norway, Botswana, Japan, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. 1957: First solo exhibition, Oranje House, Cape Town. 1982: Exhibition of South African Art, National Gallery, Gaborone, Botswana. 1991: The Hand is the Tool of the Soul: Retrospective Exhibition, Iziko South African National Gallery / Natale Labia Museum, Cape Town.

Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Kunsthalle der Stadt, Bielefeld, Germany; Library of Congress, Washington DC, USA; National Gallery, Gaborone, Botswana; Stichting Afrika Museum, Bergen Dal, The Netherlands; Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town.


PETER EDWARD CLARKE was an extremely versatile artist, a book illustrator, a poet, a gifted writer of short stories, and a book-binder. As a printmaker he has been influenced by the prints of the German Expressionists and by Japanese woodcuts. He also has a strong interest in 20th-century Mexican artists such as Diego Rivera (1886–1957) and David Siqueiros (1896–1974).

Their subject matter, with its strong social and political content and their depiction of ordinary people in a bold, naturalistic style, influenced his approach. Peter Clarke was a dockworker in the Simonstown dockyards before he became a full-time artist in 1956. For many years he has been intimately involved in the Cape Town arts community, organising many exhibitions and cultural events. His strong sense of social responsibility is evidenced by the fact that he has held art classes for local children for many years as well as acting as a mentor to aspiring artists. He has also been involved as an active supporter of a number of cultural organisations, particularly non-governmental organisations during the Apartheid years.


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