1986

1986 Works

Paintings

Discocacti 1986
Shown in HA Tolarno 9/86; widely known through its inclusion in the Budget ‘Young Australians’ collection, which toured various Australian venues 1987-89.
Fast 1986
This work, shown in HA Tolarno 9/86, was later used as the basis for Arkley’s Sydney mural project, and was reprised in Explosion [Ericsson] 1996.
= Happenstance (1987)
High Rise... 1986
This ‘Pop version of a Mies van der Rohe building’ (as it is described in Spray) was first shown in HA Tolarno 9/86.
Model Tudor Village 1986
First exhibited, with its brightly coloured twin, Tudor Village (1986), in the ‘5AR: artists and architects’ show at the George Paton Gallery in June 1986.
Notocactis (1986)
Despite the title, this is a typical cactoid composition.
Nubrick (1986)
First shown in HA Tolarno 9/86, its unusually dark tonality lends it a particularly brooding, ‘unhomely’ quality.
Our Home (1986)
This key example of Arkley’s emerging suburban theme was first shown in his 1986 Tolarno exhibition.
Speeding (1986)
This comic-style work has not been recorded since it was shown at Tolarno in 1986.
P1000055 copy
An interesting collaged work that sheds light on Arkley's continuing interest in wallpaper during the 1980s.
Cacti Succulents (1986)
To the MCA with the Smorgon Collection in 1995. The exploding box form at right first appeared in Arkley’s work in 1983.
Ritual (The) 1986
A controversial acquisition for the State Library of Victoria in 1988, this was one of the views of the urban / suburban scene represented in Arkley’s signature solo shows at Tolarno and Roslyn Oxley9 in 1986 and 1987.
Totems...(1986)
First shown in HA Tolarno 9/86. The left-hand section re-works Agave Parviflora 1985.
Tudor Village (1986)
First shown, with its black-and-white pendant, Model Tudor Village, Fitzroy Gardens (1986), in the ‘5AR: Artists and Architects 86’ exhibition, June 1986
Tulips and Spotted Vase 1986
This painting is the earliest of several larger-scale still lives by Arkley.
Two Figures 1986
This work, purchased from Tolarno in 1986, modifies the cactoid imagery of Untitled [Lanced Lace] 1983 [W/P] and related works.
Untitled [Cacti Succulents] 1986 [X] copy
This painting, auctioned in Melbourne in May 2000, is obviously related to
    The Cacti Succulents (1986)
(Smorgon Collection, MCA).

Works on Paper

Crawling Nature (1986) [W_P]#28D8
Shown at Bellas 6/87 and provisionally identified here via untitled slide in Arkley's archive.
Discocacti (study)
Identified via Monash Visual Arts slide taken at the 1991 Arkley survey show.
Lophophora 1986 (W_P)#8A70
Shown at Bellas 6/87 and provisionally identified via archive slide (labelled ‘Lophophora 1987’).
Stapelia-Peduncle 1986 [W_P]#4174
In style and format, this work clearly belongs to the series of ‘Cacti & Succulents’ shown at Roslyn Oxley9, May 1984, where it was evidently exhibited originally as ‘Neocummgii’.
Arkley_Howard_2005 copy
‘Wigginsia', wrote a 1987 reviewer, 'in its purple/green/yellow glory, could be regarded either as graffiti gesture or simply colorful kitsch’.
Unidentified work shown in a group show at Heide in October 1987.
Untitled (Nubrick study) (c.1986) [W:P] copy
Full-scale working drawing for Nubrick (1986)
Untitled ['Cacti and Succulent'] 1986 [W_P]#2C5C
An elegant essay in grey and other muted tones.

Works on Paper Minor

Examples still in the artist's archive include 'Tudor' sketches, and a full-scale 'cartoon' for The Ritual.
Tolarno 1986 invitation

After several years of working mostly on paper, and developing numerous ideas and schemes in his sketchbooks and visual diaries, Arkley now returned decisively to painting.

His 1986 canvases reprised earlier themes – cacti, psychedelic imagery etc. – while also exploring new urban and suburban topics, including the Tudor village theme (for the ‘5AR’ show in June). Nubrick and Our Home, two key examples of his developing suburban imagery, were included in the Tolarno show in September-October, where his style evinced a new clarity and edge.

1986 Exhibitions

‘Slouching Towards Bethlehem’, 200 Gertrude St., 14 April-17 May 1986 (curated by Geoff Lowe; catalogue in Arkley’s files)

‘5AR: Artists & Architects 86’, George Paton Gall., Melb.U., 5-27 June 1986 (curated by Val Austin; copy of catalogue in A = special issue of Transition June 1986; Arkley was teamed with architect Howard Raggatt)[1]

Primal Painting’, Heide, 1-27 July 1986 (curated by John Nixon; catalogue in A)

‘Howard Arkley: Recent Paintings’, Tolarno, Sept.- Oct.1986

  • refer linked entry for full details

33 Men Painters’, Heide (curated by Caroline Williams; catalogue in A)

Hugh Williamson Prize, Ballarat Art Gallery

  • Untitled triptych 1986 (3 canvases, each 121 x 160) = Agave Parviflora 1985 and two unidentified canvases (ref. Ballarat catalogue 1986, reproducing the 1985 canvas)

‘Victoria: views by contemporary artists’ (touring exh.) Castlemaine etc.

  • see 1985

[1] Critics felt this pairing typified the rather undeveloped collaborative premise of this exhibition: see in particular Duncan 1986.