1983 Works


Decorated t-shirt (1983) [3_D]#6C84
This garment was first documented in a 1989 exhibition (dated to 1983).


Tattooed at NGVA 2006
Series shown in 'Vox Pop' 1983: see Tattooed Feet 1983, Tattooed Hands 1983, Tattooed Head (1983) and Tattooed Penis (1983).
Unidentified canvas included in Arkley’s solo show at Roslyn Oxley9, June 1983.
= Winds of War Graffiti 1983
Cartographer (After Durer) 1983
The imagery, based on a 15th-century woodcut, is sprayed over a map of Europe laid on canvas.
Felony (1983)
Canvas first shown at Tolarno in 1983; Felony 1987 is a very similar variant.
Icon (Triptych) 1983
First shown in Arkley’s solo show at Roslyn Oxley9, Sydney, June 1983, and then purchased for Artbank.
Model 1983
First shown at Roslyn Oxley9, June 1983, as Model, then at Tolarno as Zygocactus.
= Agave Parviflora 1985
Unidentified canvas shown in HA Roslyn Oxley9, 6/83
Untitled [Billboard variant?] (1983?)
This work, first shown in Sydney in 1983, is closely related to Winds of War Graffiti 1983 [aka Billboard]
Spot the Difference (Fast) 1983
First shown in the McCaughey Prize, NGV, February 1983, as Romantic (Spot the Difference).
Spot the Difference (Slow) 1983 [1]
This canvas was exhibited and reproduced under several different titles, and also modified at some stage between 1983 and 1994.
Arkley Sub Interior
The first of Arkley’s many suburban exteriors, first shown at Tolarno in 1983.
Suburban Interior (1983)
This work, the twin of Suburban Exterior (1983), is sprayed directly onto a wallpaper ground.
Suburban 1983
This work, which varies the composition of Untitled [study for Suburban] (1982), [W/P], was first exhibited in HA Roslyn Oxley9, 6/83, and then at ANZART in Edinburgh in 1984
Suicide 1983
This dark, theatrical painting, first shown in Arkley’s 1983 Tolarno exhibition, combines a paradoxical approach to space with a frankly graphic style.
Tattooed Feet 1983
The final work in the 'Tattooed' series (1983), referencing a Crucifixion image.
Tattooed Hands 1983
No.2 in the 'Tattooed' series (1983), based on photographs of prison tattoos.
Tattooed Head (1983) copy
Originally exhibited, on its own, as Tattooed (HA Tolarno 10/83), and then as the first work in the ‘Tattooed’ series (1983).
Tattooed Penis (1983)
Originally part of the 'Tattooed' series (1983); apparently later destroyed and replaced by Tattooed Penis 1983 [W/P].
Tennis 1983
This canvas, first shown in HA Tolarno 10/83, contains uncharacteristic gestures toward realism.
Winds of War Graffiti 1983
First shown in HA Tolarno 10/83 as 'Billboard'; subsequently exhibited and reproduced as Winds of War Graffiti.
Zappo (1983)
Painting first shown as 'Lightning' at Roslyn Oxley9, June-July 1983, and thereafter as Zappo.

Works on Paper

Design for Tapestry 1983 [W_P]#4388
Formerly in George Mora's collection; auctioned in 1992 and 1999.
Unidentified work formerly in Georges Mora's collection.
Felony (MCA W-P 1983)
This work on paper came to the MCA with the Smorgon Collection in 1995.
Four Studies (1983) [W_P]#D0D9
Collaged works modelled on Surrealist artist Joán Miró’s ‘organic abstraction’ project.
T.V.Injun (1983)
This work is related to Untitled [Icon study] (1982) [W/P], Icon (triptych) 1983, and the 'Tattooed' series (1983).
Tattooed Penis 1983 [W_P]#B802
Used after 1983 as a substitute for the original canvas version in the 'Tattooed' series (1983).
The Model 1983 [W:P]
This work was reproduced on the cover of Art Network vol.11 (Spring 1983).
Untitled [Agave study?] (1982) [W_P]#EB9C
Included in the exhibition of Australian drawings at the CDS Gallery in New York in 1984, and purchased for the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Untitled [Lanced Lace] 1983 W_P]#A75A
First certainly recorded (as 'Lanced Lace') in the '6 Drawing' show, Hobart, Sept.1985.
P1000057 copy
Work on paper dateable to the planning period leading to Zappo (1983).

Works on Paper Minor

Sketches in red pen, c.1983?
Numerous other works on paper, doodles etc., similar to Four Studies (1983) [W/P], also date from 1983 or thereabouts; many remained in the artist's studio collection at his death.

Tattooed series in 1983

(photo: ‘Tattooed’ series as installed in ‘Vox Pop’, NGV, Dec.1983, including the original canvas version of Penis [photo reproduced from Cramer 1984])

In a busy year, during which he also taught part-time at the VCA (Duncan 1991: 23-24), Arkley produced a large number of works on both canvas and paper, and showed in a wide range of exhibitions.

His shift to figuration was now clear, signalled in his two one-man shows at Roslyn Oxley9, in June-July, and Tolarno in October-November. Both exhibitions contained strong indications of his future development, including his first explicit images of suburban houses. The Tolarno show – one of his most resolved and imaginative – received a particularly enthusiastic critical response (for details, see exhibition entry).

In ‘Vox Pop’, staged at the NGV at the end of the year, Arkley combined Tattooed Head (first shown at Tolarno in October) with three other body parts, to produce a series with multiple and complex associations and sources, notably Surrealism; for detailed comments, see catalogue entries.

Key examples of Arkley’s earlier style continued to appear in group shows, notably ‘A Melbourne Mood’, curated by Daniel Thomas and shown in Canberra.

1983 Exhibitions

‘The John McCaughey Memorial Art Prize 1983’, NGV, 10 Feb.-27 March (check-list in Arkley’s archive)


‘Against the Wall: Works from the Michell Endowment of the National Gallery of Victoria)’, Melbourne University Gallery, 23 Feb.-1 April 1983 [cur.Robert Lindsay; catalogue/poster in Arkley’s archive]

‘Comic Stripping’, George Paton Gallery, University of Melbourne, 31 May-24 June 1983 [cur.Denise McGrath; catalogue in artist’s files]. Arkley contributed a double page of doodled sketches for the catalogue (the right page is reproduced in C.Fig.4.15), and 3 working drawings for the show as follows:

‘Howard Arkley: Recent Works’, Roslyn Oxley9, Sydney, June-July 1983

- refer linked entry for full details

‘A Melbourne Mood: Cool Contemporary Art’, Australian National Gallery at Melville Hall, ANU, Canberra, 13 July-14 August 1983 [curated by Daniel Thomas; catalogue in Arkley archive]

‘Transporting Art: Impressions of the Painted Trams Project’, Victorian Ministry for the Arts Gallery, Level 9, 168 Exhibition Street, Melbourne, 12 Sept.-14 Oct.1983 (‘Photographs by Stephen Hall, Andrew Lehmann and Greg Scullin, with a selection of the artists’ original sketches and plans’; catalogue/poster in artist’s files)

‘Howard Arkley: Urban Paintings’, Tolarno, Oct.-Nov.1983

- refer linked entry for full details

‘The New Art’ (Michell Endowment), NGV at Banyule, 17 Nov.1983- ?

‘Vox Pop’, NGV, Dec.1983-12 Feb.1984 [cur.Robert Lindsay; catalogue: Lindsay 1983]