South African painter Stanley Pinker has died in Cape Town at the age of 87. Pinker, who had been ailing for some years, was recently in surgery, and failed to recover his health after the operation.
Pinker was renowned as one of South Africa’s most important “modernist” painters, and like his contemporaries Alexis Preller and Cecil Skotnes, developed a unique and distinctive style of “afro-surrealism” for which he became known and loved amongst local collectors. In 2001, Pinker was awarded the Molteno Medal for lifetime achievement in painting. In recent years, Pinker’s works began to perform well on auctions, with his well-known painting “The Wheel of Life” selling on a 2010 Strauss & Co auction for R2.4 million.Born in 1925 in WIndhoek, Pinker began painting after World War II, while in Europe following his service as a soldier for the Allied Forces. Upon his return to Africa, Pinker studied art in Cape Town. He then lived in Europe for several years, and returned to South Africa in 1969 to take up a lecturing post at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the university of Cape Town, where he taught until 1986.Pinker’s health began to decline in the last three years, and he has painted inconsistently ever since. He passed away at home in Cape Town. Details of his memorial service are yet to be announced.