1982 Works on paper (minor)

Untitled sketch, c.1982

Arkley’s studio collection includes various works on paper probably or certainly dating from 1982. These include several works apparently from other multi-sheet works on paper similar in style to those catalogued here (but possibly abandoned incomplete); several sheets appear to be fragments from a large skeleton figure sprayed in black (possibly inspired by a toy skeleton in the artist’s collection of blow-up toys: see general comments above for 1982).

Arkley’s archive also contains slides (dated Oct82) showing rough sketches (present whereabouts unknown) evidently closely related to three multi-sheet works on paper: Untitled [Icon study] (1982) [W/P], Untitled [Model study] (1982) [W/P] and Untitled [Zappo study] (1982) [W/P].

A collaged sheet of source images in Arkley’s archive (referenced in his ‘Suburban’ and ‘Suburban Interior’ compositions) is of particular interest, as is a related working drawing used to develop the perspective construction of Suburban Interior (1983). Both works (Howard Arkley archive, SLV, MS 14217/1/1628 and MS 14217/8/1234) are reproduced in Carnival Figs.4.5 and 4.6, where they are dated c.1983. However, a date of 1982 (or even earlier) seems likely, given the fact that this composition was already fully developed in Untitled [Suburban study] (1982) [W/P]; archive slides of the collaged sheet also bear a process date of Oct82. For further discussion of this material in relation to the “collage environment” of Arkley’s working method, see Anthony Fitzpatrick in Fitzpatrick & Lynn (2015), pp.14-15.

Arkley’s archive also contains a number of smaller sketches and working drawings, apparently related to the finished works catalogued here; some of these are fragmentary and in fragile condition, but they’re almost all evocative and brimming with ideas. The example reproduced here includes a figure, at upper right, which reappears in several subsequent works, including Untitled (1983?) [Billboard variant].

The artist’s Sketchbooks nos.16 (early 1980s?), 17 (dated 1981), and 22 a & b (early 1980s?), and Visual Diaries D 11 (c.1979-82?) and D 12 (1982) all contain further sketches, planning notes and lists of titles related to Arkley’s developing work in 1982 and subsequent years – e.g. D 12 contains an idea for ‘painting over maps, wall paper or larger pre-printed paper’, clearly prefiguring several major works produced in 1983.

[photo: Untitled sheet of sketches in black fibre-tipped pen, c.1982? (Arkley archive)]