Pieter van der Westhuizen was born in Pretoria in 1931. He studied art at Unisa under Sakkie Eloff, Leo Theron, Robert Hodgins and others. In 1960 he worked under Alfred Krentz and in 1971 under Erik Laubscher. During 1979-80 he attended the National Hoger Instituut voor Schone Kunst at the Royal Academy of Arts in Belgium. In 1982 and 1985 he continued his studies at the Stedelijke Akademie in Ghent and the Ryks Centrum voor Grafiek in Belgium.
During 1983 and 1985 he studied wood-block printing in Japan. Born, as he puts it, “between the great drought and the Second World War” Pieter discovered at a very young age that “the world I found myself in was not a comfortable one… Pieter has had many one-man and group exhibitions in 1988. In 1989 he exhibited with inter alia Marc Chagall, Yaacov Agam, and Ben Avram. He works in pastel, watercolour, oil, ink, pencil, charcoal, and other graphic media. Today, Pieter’s works are found in private and state collections in South Africa, Britian, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Italy, China, Japan, and Israel. Pieter van der Westhuizen is widely regarded as one of the most popular artists in South Africa today.
Pieter passed away in December 2008