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Acclaimed South African painter Stanley Pinker has died in Cape Town at 87.
Pinker was awarded the Molteno Medal 11 years ago in acknowledgement of a lifetime devoted to painting.
In recent years, his works have begun to appear at more and more auction houses. Strauss & Co auctioneers sold his The Wheel of Life for R2.4 million in October 2010.
In recent years Pinker had stopped painting but would do some sketches from his bed, mostly for his family, his son Matthew said yesterday.
An incomplete portrait of Pinker’s only grandchild, Mateo, 6, has been on his easel for the past three years.
Pinker’s son said his ailing father never fully recovered from an operation he had just over a week ago. He died on Saturday.
Pinker started painting after World War II, when travelling in Italy as an 18-year-old soldier.
Seven years ago, a retrospective of his private collection was hosted at the Michael Stevenson gallery for his 80th birthday. According to the gallery’s website, Pinker negotiated the “angst-ridden landscape of apartheid South Africa through the use of humour, metaphor and subversive allusion which set him apart from many artists working at this time when overt reference to the political situation was common practice.
Born in Windhoek, Pinker studied in Cape Town. He lived in Europe for several years and returned to SA. In 1969 he took a post at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at UCT where he taught until 1986.
He is survived by his children Stephen, Merete and Matthew and grandson Mateo. Details for his memorial service are yet to be finalised.