Photo of Peter E Clarke

Peter E Clarke

b. Simon’s Town, Cape Town, 1929 d. Ocean View, 2014

Veteran visual artist and writer, Clarke’s graphic works and paintings affirm the dignity of everyday lives.

Peter Clarke was, indeed is, a giant. Evidence of his achievements is (and will continue to be) narrated in numerous tributes, obituaries and testimonies. Evidence of his legacy as a mentor, across many generations, will increasingly become apparent.
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Art Education

1962-1963: Royal Academy for Graphic Art, Amsterdam.
1961: Michaelis School of Fine Art (mentored by Katherine Harries), UCT, Cape Town.

Workshops & residencies

2005: Caversham Press, KZN, South Africa.
1983: US-SA Leadership Exchange Programme, Rustenberg, South Africa.
1976: Kuumbe Workshop, Southside, Chicago. 1975: University of Iowa, USA.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2009: Woorde en Beelde, Breytenbach Sentrum, Wellington, South Africa. A Hot Quiet Evening, University of West Indies, Island of Barbados; Kalk Bay Modern, Kalk Bay, Cape Town.
2008: Second Childhood, Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town.
2006: Menu, Kalk Bay Modern, Cape Town.
2004-2005: Fanfare, Micheal Stevenson, Cape Town.
2000: Bertold Brecht House, Berlin. Media Centre, Exeter, Devon, England.
1999: Vital Expressions, Technikon Natal Art Gallery, Durban. A Personal View, Lipschitz Gallery, Cape Town.
1998: Vital Expressions, Association of Arts Gallery,: Drawings of Tesselaardsal, Caledon Museum, South Africa.
1995: Small World, Full Stop Coffee Shop, Muizenberg, Cape Town.
1992: The hand is the tool of the soul, Natale Labia Museum, Muizenberg, Cape Town.
1984: Jerusalem Artists House, Jerusalem, Israel.
1981: Illusions and Others' Realities, Atlantic Gallery, Cape Town.


1978-1979: Sandvika Kino Vestibyle, Sandvika, Norway.
1977-1978: Public Library, Grassy Park, Cape Town.
1977: Our World is a Ghetto, South African Association of Arts, Cape Town.


1973-1974: Fisk University, Nashville, Tenesee, USA.
1970: Edrich Gallery, Stellenbosch, Cape Town.
1965: Mbari Cultural Centre, Ibadan, Nigeria. Chemi-Chemi Cultural Centre, Nairobi, Kenya.
1957: Gold City Post exhibition, Cape Town.

Selected Group Exhibitions

2011: Collection 13, SMAC Gallery, Cape Town.

2010: Hats off: 25 Years, Linocuts from Caversham, Tokara, Stellenbosch. Artists of the South, Old Library Hall, Simonstown, Cape Town. Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg. Divisions: Aspect of South Africa Art

1948-2010, SMAC Gallery, Stellenbosch, Cape Town. 1910-2010: From Pierneef to Gugulective, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town. Homage, Michaelis School of Fine Art Gallery, Cape Town.

2009: Strengths and Convictions, ISANG, Cape Town; Nobel Peace Centre, Oslo, Norway. Art of Relief Print, ISANG, Cape Town.

2008: Collection 10, SMAC Gallery, Stellenbosch. Revision+ Expanding the Narrative of South African Art, SMAC Gallery, Stellenbosch.

2007: Apartheid-The South African Mirror, Centro Cultural Bacanja of Valencia, Barcelona, Spain. africa south, AVA, Cape Town.

2006: Botaki 4, Old Mutual Asset Managers, Pinelands, Cape Town.

2005: Botaki 3, OMAM, Pinelands, Cape Town.

2002: Warren Siebrits Modern and Contemporary (with Albert Adams and Valerie Desmond), Johannesburg.

2001: MICROMACRO, South African National Library, Cape Town. 1995: 18th International Exhibition of Prints, Kanagawa, Japan.

1994: 3rd Triennale World Exhibition Of Prints, Auverne, France. Troisieme Triennial Mondiale Destampes-Chamalieres, France.

1993: I wish you well on your way (Tribute to John Muafangejo), Chelsea Gallery, Wynberg, Cape Town.

1992: Zeitzeichen-art from contemporary Africa, Museum fur Volkerkunde, Frankfurt am main, Germany. St Virgil Bildungshaus, Satzburg, Austria.

1991: Gallery International (with Willie Bester, Isaac Makeleni and Ishmael Thyssen), Cape Town.1990: Freedom Now, Nambian Independence Exhibition, Windhoek, Namibia.

1989: Rahmen Gallerie (with Tyrone Appollis and Ishmael Thyssen), Langei, Germany.1986: Botschaften aus Sudafrika, museum fur Volkerkunde Frankfurt am main, Germany.

1985: 10th International Triennale fur originale grafik, Grenchen, Switzerland.

1984: Norwergian International Print Bienniale, Frederikstad, Norway.

1983-1984: International Exhibition of Prints, Kanagawa, Japan.

1983: Minor Events and Situations, Bellville Art Gallery, Bellville, Cape Town.

1982: Culture and Resistance Conference, Gaberone, Botswana.

1979-1982: Norway series of graphic art, Aterlier Nord, Oslo.

1973: Benefit exhibition of graphics, Pratt Graphics Centre, New York.

1972: Tercera Bienniale Internacionale del Grabado de Buenos Aires, Argentina.

1971: South African graphics, touring Western Europe.

1969: 2nd Exhibition of International Graphics, Palazzo Strozzo, Florence, Italy.

1968: 1st Exhibition of International Graphics, Palazzo Strozzo, Florence.

1965: 6th International Graphic Art Biennale, Ljubljana, Yugoslavia.

1964: XXXII Bienale, Venice, Italy.

1963: 5th International Graphic Art Biennale, Ljubljana, Yugoslavia. International Graphic Art, Albertine Museum, Vienna, Austria.

1961: South African Graphic Art, Sao Paulo; Gallery Schononger, Munich.

1960: South African Graphic Art, Yugoslavia.


Public collections in South Africa, Norway, Australia, USA, Germany, Yugoslavia, Botswana, Netherlands.


(Books, magazines, newspapers and catalogues)

2011: S O'Toole Portrait of the artist as a spry old man, Business Day Magazine Supplement, March, pp. 20-22.

2009: D Newbury, Defiant Images: Photography and Anti-Apartheid South Africa, UNISA Press, Pretoria. Imaging and Imaging, Grahams Fine Art Gallery, catalogue no 6. Annual Report, William Humphreys Art Gallery, Swiftprint, Kimberley. Gavin Jantjes, Strengths and Conviction, Press Publishing, Cape Town. Prestige Magazine: in the lap of luxury, Neo Publishing, Johannesburg.

2008: B Law-Viljoen, Art and Justice: The Art of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, David Krut Publishing,Johannesburg. Joburg Art Fair. Johannesburg: Artlogic. Proud, H. ReVision+: Expanding the narrative of South African Art, SMAC, Stellenbosch.

2007: K Gurney Dignity and Quiet Fanfare, Art South Africa, vol. 05 issue 03 Autumn.

2006: L Donve Peter Clarke: Following Dreams and Finding Fame Awareness Publishing Group, Gallo Manor, Johannesburg. H Proud, Revisions: Expanding the narrative of South African Art, Unisa Press, Pretoria. G Hallett Portrait of African Writers, Wits University Press, Johannesburg.

2005: K Gurney Clarke, Pinker and Nel, Art South Africa vol. 03 issue 03 Autumn, p71. M Pissarra Botaki 3: Conversations with Donovan Ward, OMAM, Cape Town.

2004: S Perryer (ed.) 10 years 100 artists: Art in a Democratic South Africa, Bell Roberts Publishing, Cape Town. M Stevenson Fanfare: Peter Clarke in conversation with Michael Stevenson, David Krut Publishing, Johannesburg.

2002: Oprah Magazine, April- May issue.

2000: Hein Willemse (ed.) More than brothers: Peter Clarke and James Matthews at seventy, Kwela Books, Cape Town.

1997: Elza Miles, Land and lives: a story of early black artists, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg.

1992: P Hardy, Peter E Clarke: the hand is the tool of the soul, South African National Gallery, Cape Town.

1988: Gavin Younge, Art of the South African Townships, Thames and Hudson, London. G Ogilvie The Dictionary of South African Painters and Sculptors, Everard Read, Johannesburg.


Several book covers and illustrations for publications.


2010: Arts and Culture Trust Lifetime Achievement Award.

2005: Order of Ikhamanga, silver class, for excellence in Art and Literature.

1984: Honorary Doctor of Literature, World Academy of Arts and Culture, Taipei, Taiwan. Honorary Life Member, Museum of African American Art, Los Angeles.

1982: Diploma of Merit, Literature, Universita delle Arti, Salso Maggiore Terme Pr., Italy. Book illustration award for A message in the wind by Chris Van Wyk. Diploma of Merit, Art, Universita delle Arti, Salso Maggiore Terme Pr., Italy.

1975: Honorary Fellow in Writing, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Usa.

1965: C.P. Hoogenhout Book-illustration Award for Snoet-alleen by Frida Linder. Avvademico Onorario, Accademia Florentina delle Arti del Disegno, Florence, Italy.

1955: Drum International Short-story Award.


Numerous poems and short stories published in South Africa, USA, Sweden & Norway. Taught art in Ocean View. Founder member of Vakalisa.


Karibuna Festival – 1989


    Natale Labia Exhibition – 1992



Snailpress Letter and Book jacket – 1997


  Carapace 64 Poetry Selection – 2007



Impressions Catalogue – 2009



Ashbey’s Catalogue – 2010


    Cavershams Catalogue – June 2010


    Portrait of The Artist – Wanted Magazine article by Sean ‘O Toole



Listening to Distant Thunder,The Art of Peter Clarke Catalogue – May 2011


  Listening to Distant Thunder,The Art of Peter Clarke Pamphlet – May 2011



Art times – May 2011


  Report of The Chairperson of The Friends of The South African National Gallery – December 2011



Standard Bank Learning Resource Brochure



Dak’Art – 2012


    Stephen Welz – February 2013


  Mine is the Silent Face (French and English magazine clipping) – 2013



Weekend Argus, newspaper clipping – November 2013


  Lize Van Robbroekc – Listening to Distant Thunder – The Art of Peter Clarke (review)



Peter Clarke – Just Paper and Glue