Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) at Rivington Place presents Peter Clarke Wind Blowing on the Cape Flats

Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) at Rivington Place presents Peter Clarke Wind Blowing on the Cape Flats, an exhibition on view 16 January–9 March 2013.

Peter Clarke, Coming and Going, 1960. Oil, 511 x 409 cm. © the artist. Courtesy private collection.

As South Africa prepares to celebrate 20 years since the election that brought Nelson Mandela to President, and with Jacob Zuma recently securing a controversial second term to lead the governing African National Congress, Iniva reflects on the nation’s social and political history through the work of internationally acclaimed artist and writer Peter Clarke. Wind Blowing on the Cape Flats honours Clarke’s life, work and contribution to art over sixty years, and tells the story of an artist whose sharp, poignant and aesthetically memorable work provides an extraordinary context for discussion of South Africa, apartheid and post-apartheid.

One of the most accomplished and versatile visual South African artists, Peter Clarke was born in 1929. In his early twenties, he declared that he would make his living as an artist, which was a highly unusual ambition for a young black South African at the time. Since then, Clarke has reflected on his country’s social and political history and is often referred to as the ‘quiet chronicler.’ Clarke’s art is about people, and in his reflection of humanity and in the contribution he has made to his country’s cultural development, he has become an inspiration to many other artists. Wind Blowing on the Cape Flats charts his development as an artist, his prolific creativity as a painter, printmaker and an internationally acclaimed writer and poet through over 80 works including paintings, drawings, prints, woodcuts, collages, sketchbooks as well as artist books.

In partnership with the South African National Gallery (Iziko Museums of South Africa), Iniva presents this major retrospective and first substantial exhibition in the UK of Peter Clarke’s work. Wind Blowing on the Cape Flats is curated by Tessa Jackson, Chief Executive, Iniva, and Riason Naidoo, Director of South African National Gallery & Old Town House, Iziko Museums of South Africa. The exhibition continues Iniva’s work to promote culturally diverse artists, curators, writers and thinkers, making the invisible visible.

A programme of events runs alongside the exhibition season, including:

Hans Ulrich Obrist in conversation with Peter Clarke: 16 January, 6:30pm
Co-director of the Serpentine Gallery, Hans Ulrich Obrist continues his ongoing Conversation Project (1996–) with artist and writer Peter Clarke.

‘You Can’t Get Lost in Cape Town’: 24 January, 6:30pm
Internationally acclaimed writer Zoe Wicomb reads from her work—short stories and novels, set in both apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa—and reflects on key issues in relation to Peter Clarke’s work.

Curator’s Tour: 31 January, 6:30pm, free
Tessa Jackson, Iniva Chief Executive and co-curator of Wind Blowing on the Cape Flats, leads a tour of Peter Clarke’s retrospective and expands on his life and work.

Ingredients for Debate?: 7 February, 6:30pm
Gillian Slovo, well known novelist, playwright and memoirist, in conversation with Tamar Garb, University College London, about how she has drawn upon personal history and experience to debate the politics of South Africa, including its Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Visual Traditions, past and present: 14 February, 6:30pm
Providing a context for Peter Clarke’s work, a panel including independent curator Christine Eyene shares their knowledge of recent visual arts developments in South Africa.

Art & Activism in Contemporary South Africa
This lecture by Annie E. Coombes, Professor of Material and Visual Culture at Birkbeck College, explores women’s art practice in South Africa as an alternative political space.

New Limited-Edition Print by Peter Clarke
To accompany the exhibition, Peter Clarke has produced a limited-edition print. The print, a lithograph after an original hand-coloured linocut from the artist’s personal collection, depicts a single outstretched hand reaching towards a dove, suggesting a yearning for peace or solidarity. The work is a homage to the American poet and social activist Langston Hughes, who was recognised for his contribution to the Harlem Renaissance and was an important influence on the artist. Edition of 100, signed and numbered.

Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts)
at Rivington Place
London EC2A 3BA

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