Peter Clarke

Peter E Clarke

b. 1929 Simon’s Town, d. 2014, Ocean View, South Africa.
Peter Clarke was, indeed is, a giant. Evidence of his achievements are narrated in numerous tributes, obituaries and testimonies. Clarke’s graphic works and paintings affirm the dignity of everyday Black life. Exploring flattened, angular forms, and working with highly deliberate palettes, Clarke’s images reflect a spirit of experimentation, digging beyond the typical conventions of landscape and portrait work that defined his times.


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


Art Education

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

Solo Exhibitions (South Africa)

2013: Peter Clarke - Just Paper And Glue, Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town.
2011: Listening to Distant Thunder: The Art of Peter Clarke, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town; Standard Bank Gallery, Johanneburg.
2009: Woorde en Beelde, Breytenbach Sentrum, Wellington.
2009: A Hot and Quiet Evening, Kalk Bay Modern, Cape Town.
2008: Second Childhood, Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town.
2006: Menu, Kalk Bay Modern, Cape Town.
2004 - 2005: Fanfare, Michael Stevenson, Cape Town.
1998 - 1999: Vital Expressions, Association of Visual Arts (AVA) Gallery, Cape Town; Technikon Natal Art Gallery, Durban.
1999: A Personal View, Lipschitz Gallery, Cape Town.
1999: Drawings of Tesselaardsal, Caledon Museum, Caledon.
1995: Small World, Full Stop Coffee Shop, Cape Town.
1992: The hand is the tool of the soul, Natale Labia Museum, Cape Town.
1981: Illusions and Others' Realities, Atlantic Gallery, Cape Town.
1977 - 1978: Exhibition, Grassy Park Public Library, Cape Town.
1977: Our World is a Ghetto, Association of of Visual Arts (AVA) Gallery, Cape Town.
1970: Exhibition, Edrich Gallery, Stellenbosch.
1957: Exhibition, Golden City Post, Cape Town.

Solo Exhibitions (international)

2013: Peter Clarke: Wind Blowing on the Cape Flats, Retrospective, Institute of International Visual Artists (INIVA), London.
2012: Dak'Art 2012, (Honourary Gues Artist), Dakar.
2009: A Hot Quiet Evening, University of West Indies, Barbados
2000: Exhibition, Bertold Brecht House, Berlin; Media Centre, Exeter, Devon.
1984: Exhibition, Jerusalem Artist's House, Palestine.
1978 - 1979: Exhibition, Sandvika Kino Vestibyle, Sandvika.
1973-1974: Exhibition, Fisk University, Nashville.
1965: Exhibition, Mbari Cultural Centre, Ibadan.
1965: Exhibition, Chemi-Chemi Cultural Centre, Nairobi.

Group Exhibitions (South Africa)

2011: Collection 13, SMAC Gallery, Cape Town.
2010: Hats off: 25 Years, Linocuts from Caversham, Tokara, Stellenbosch.
2010: Artists of the South, Old Library Hall, Simonstown, Cape Town.
2010: Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg.
2010: Divisions: Aspect of South Africa Art 1948 - 2010, SMAC Gallery, Stellenbosch.
2010: 1910-2010: From Pierneef to Gugulective, Iziko South African National Gallery (ISANG), Cape Town.
2010: Homage, Michaelis Gallery, Cape Town.
2009: Strengths and Convictions, Iziko South African National Gallery (ISANG), Cape Town.
2009: The Art of the Relief Print, Iziko South African National Gallery (ISANG), Cape Town.
2008: Collection 10, SMAC Gallery, Stellenbosch.
2008: Revisions: Expanding the Narrative of South African Art, SMAC Gallery, Stellenbosch.
2007: Africa South, AVA, Cape Town.
2006: Botaki 4, Old Mutual Asset Managers, Cape Town.
2005: Botaki 3, OMAM, Cape Town.
2002: Exhibition, Warren Siebrits Modern and Contemporary, Johannesburg.
2001: MICROMACRO, South African National Library, Cape Town.
1993: I wish you well on your way (Tribute to John Muafangejo), Chelsea Gallery, Cape Town.
1991: Gallery International (with Willie Bester, Isaac Makeleni and Ishmael Thyssen), Cape Town.
1983: Minor Events and Situations, Bellville Art Gallery, Cape Town.

Group Exhibitions (international)

2009: Strengths and Convictions, Nobel Peace Centre, Oslo.
2007: Apartheid - The South African Mirror, Centro Cultural Bacanja of Valencia, Barcelona.
1995: 18th International Independent Exhibition of Prints, Kanagawa.
1994: 3rd World Triennale of Small Format Prints, Chamalières-Auvergne.
1992: Zeitzeichen - Art from Contemporary Africa, Museum fur Volkerkunde, Frankfurt; St Virgil Bildungshaus, Satzburg.
1990: Freedom Now: Nambian Independence Exhibition, Windhoek.
1989: Exhibition, Rahmen Gallerie (with Tyrone Appollis and Ishmael Thyssen), Langei.
1986: Botschaften aus Sudafrika, Museum fur Volkerkunde, Frankfurt.
1985: 10th International Triennale fur originale grafik, Grenchen.
1984: Norwergian International Print Bienniale, Frederikstad.
1983 - 1984: 9th International Independent Exhibition of Prints, Kanagawa.
1982: Culture and Resistance Conference, Gaborone.
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, Buenos Aires.
1971: South African Graphics, Netherlands; Belgium; then West Germany.
1969: 2nd Exhibition of International Graphics, Palazzo Strozzo, Florence.
1968: 1st Exhibition of International Graphics, Palazzo Strozzo, Florence.
1965: 6th International Graphic Art Biennale, Ljubljana.
1964: XXXII Bienale de Venezia, Venice.
1963: 5th International Graphic Art Biennale, Ljubljana; Albertine Museum, Vienna.
1960 - 1961: South African Graphic Art, Ljubljana; Gallery Schononger, Munich; Sao Paulo.

Workshops & residencies

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


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


(Books, magazines, newspapers and catalogues)

2014: Philippa Hobbs, Elizabeth Rankin, Listening to Distant Thunder: The Art of Peter Clarke, Struik Nature/ Penguin Random House: South Africa.
2011: Sean O'Toole, Portrait of the artist as a spry old man, Business Day Magazine Supplement, March, pp. 20-22.
2009: Darren Newbury, Defiant Images: Photography and Anti-Apartheid South Africa, UNISA Press, Pretoria.
2009: Alex Dodd, Frederico Freschi, Imaging and Imagining : South African art c. 1896-2008, Grahams Fine Art Gallery: Johannesburg.
2008: Catalogue no 6. Annual Report, William Humphreys Art Gallery, Swiftprint: Kimberley.
2008: Gavin Jantjes, Strengths and Convictions, Press Publishing, Cape Town.
2008: Prestige Magazine, Neo Publishing, Johannesburg.
2008: Bronwyn Law-Viljoen, Art and Justice: The Art of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, David Krut Publishing, Johannesburg.
2008: Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg: Artlogic.
2007: Kim Gurney, Dignity and Quiet Fanfare, Art South Africa, vol. 05 issue 03 Autumn.
2006: Donvé Lee, Peter Clarke: Following Dreams and Finding Fame, Awareness Publishing Group, Gallo Manor, Johannesburg.
2006: Hayden Proud, ReVisions+: Expanding the narrative of South African Art, Unisa Press, Pretoria.
2006: George Hallett, Portraits of African Writers, Wits University Press, Johannesburg.
2005: Kim Gurney, Clarke, Pinker and Nel, Art South Africa vol. 03 issue 03 Autumn, p71.
2005: Mario Pissarra, Botaki 3: Conversations with Donovan Ward, Old Mutual Asset Management, Cape Town.
2004: Sophie Perryer (ed.) 10 years 100 artists: Art in a Democratic South Africa, Bell Roberts Publishing, Cape Town.
2004: 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: Patricia 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.
1988: Grania Ogilvie, The Dictionary of South African Painters and Sculptors, Everard Read, Johannesburg.


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.
1984: Honorary Life Member, Museum of African American Art, Los Angeles.
1982: Book illustration award for A message in the wind by Chris Van Wyk.
1982: Diploma of Merit, Art, Universita delle Arti, Salso Maggiore Terme Pr., Italy.
1975: Honorary Fellow in Writing, University of Iowa, Iowa City.
1965: C.P. Hoogenhout Book-illustration Award for Snoet-alleen by Frida Linder.
1965: Avvademico Onorario, Accademia Florentina delle Arti del Disegno, Florence.
1955: Drum International Short-story Award.

Other Involvement

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


Candice Allison, Peter Clarke: There was always tomorrow, (ASAI, 2021)
Mario Pissarra, Some thoughts on Peter Clarke, (ASAI, 2014)