‘Howard Arkley: Recent Paintings’, Tolarno, May 1979

Tolarno 5_79 (2)#B9F7

Tolarno 5_79 (1)#C10D

‘Howard Arkley: Recent Paintings’, Tolarno Galleries, St Kilda, 9-20 May 1979

This first show of Arkley’s ‘doors’ gained him limited commercial success, but significant critical acclaim (see bibliography for reviews, notably Makin 1979), and resulted, later in the year, in the acquisition of Isotype for the NGV – the first purchase of one of his works for a major public collection.

A full set of installation slides in Arkley’s files helps identify several works shown subsequently under different titles (as noted below); the paintings were shown in numerical sequence – as was usually the case with Arkley’s exhibitions. The check-list indicates the size of all paintings as 203 x 78 (except nos.1 and 9, at 203 x 156).

(Installation photos, showing cat.nos.6-10, and 11-14 [source: slides in Arkley’s archive])

1.    Isotype 1979

2.    Psychedelic 1979: also shown in HA Coventry 3/80 (cat.14)

3.    Futurist = Curvelinear 1978: inscribed with the title Curvelinear at a later date

4.    Dots B/W (1979)

5.    Curvilinear-Grid = Curvilinear with Grid 1978 (the title under which the painting was shown in HA Coventry 3/80, no.4)

6.    ArabesqueArabesque [Coloured Paisley] (1979) – NB this painting should not be confused with other works given this title by Arkley, notably Arabesque [aka Curvilinear] 1979, also included in this show (no.12)

7.    Arrows-Crosses = Deco 1979: also shown in HA Coventry 3/80 (cat.6, as Deco; not to be confused with no.13 below)

8.    Coils = Secession 1979: shown in HA Coventry 3/80, no.15, as Secession (the title now inscribed on the work)

9.    Baroque (1979)

10.  Triangles (1979)

11.  Proton-Neutron 1979: also shown in HA Coventry 3/80 (cat.1)

12.  Curvilinear = Arabesque 1978: also shown in HA Coventry 3/80, cat.7, as Curvilinear; later inscribed with the title Arabesque

13.  Deco = Bodgie 1979 [aka Bodgie-Widgie, Deco]: shown in HA Coventry 3/80, no.5, as Bodgie-Widgie; later inscribed with the title Bodgie

14. 50’s 1979: also shown in HA Coventry 3/80 (cat.no.3)