1992

1992 Works

Paintings

Deluxe Setting 1992
A widely-published example of Arkley’s mature use of clashing hues and vivid patterning, including extensive stencilling.
head transformer
This is a variation on Transformer Head (1990).
Interior Tableau copy*
This characteristic work from the ‘Mix’n Match’ show sets up a pictorial debate between the extensive areas of flat patterning, and cues for depth and illusionism.
Unidentified. There appear to be no photographs of this work.
Mod Style 1992
Here, suburbia becomes ‘an exuberant but schizophrenic site for warring formal and decorative tendencies’.
Rococo Rhythm 1992
An excellent example of the way in which Arkley ‘subverts realist notions of light and perspective’ in the ‘Mix’n Match’ series, exploring formal effects of ‘positive and negative lighting’ (Spray 107)
Roomrite1992
This painting was shown first in ‘Mix’n Match’ (1992), and then at the Bellas Gallery in Brisbane, May 1993 (as ‘Room Rite’).
Second Psychedelic Head 1992 copy
This painting, based on a comic-book source in Arkley's studio collection, does not appear to have been exhibited until 2002.
Spartan Space 1992
The main sources are identified in Spray as images of Gerrit Rietveld’s Schröder House (1924) and related De Stijl furniture.
SUparoom
Here Arkley achieved something vaguely reminiscent of Dutch interiors, with their intense accumulations of material objects and patterning.
Ultra Living 1992
This work, shown in both ‘Mix’n Match’ (1992) and ‘Downtown’ (1995), re-surfaced in 2005.
Ultrakleen 1992
This ‘signature’ interior was first exhibited in ‘Mix’n Match’ in 1992, and has been shown widely since.

Works on Paper

Arkley_Davila s'screen 1992#1FE2
This is the major work-on-paper outcome of the collaboration between Arkley and Davila in the late 1980s/1990s.
Untitled 1992 W:P [HA:JD] copy
Collaborative work on paper related to Blue Chip Instant Decorator: a Room (1991-2) [3/M]

Works on Paper Minor

No examples noted (but see Visual Diaries D 33 & 34).
Cover

(photo: cover of the artist’s copy of Gold’s 1976 home furnishing manual [Arkley archive])

1992 saw the deaths of two figures central to the development of Arkley’s career: his early champion Paul Taylor (aged only 35),[1] and Tolarno director Georges Mora, with whom Arkley had exhibited ever since 1974, and who had become a kind of father figure for him.[2] Mora’s assistant Jan Minchin, formerly a curator of Australian art at the NGV, took over at Tolarno and is still in charge there.

During the year, he and Juan Davila did additional work on Blue Chip Instant Decorator: a Room (1991-2) [3/M], replacing the original rugs with stylized ‘rugs’, in the form of low wooden plinths: the work was shown in its revised form in the Melbourne Art Fair in October. For a good photograph of the work in this finalized state, see Spray 102-3.

Arkley spent much of the year working in his garage studio in suburban Oakleigh on the canvases for his ‘Mix’n Match’ exhibition at Tolarno in Oct./Nov. This was his first full show of suburban interiors, most of them elaborately detailed, and now including extensive use of patterning produced via stencils (a new development influenced by Alison Burton); for discussion of these works, including extensive quotes from interviews made with the artist at the time, see the Tolarno exhibition catalogue (Gregory 1992). Among various sources used by the artist to develop these images, a 1970s US home decorator manual, already referenced in the title and compositions of Blue Chip, loomed large: for details, see linked entry Gold’s Instant Decorator.

1992 Exhibitions

Melbourne Art Fair ACAF#3, 1-4 Oct.1992

‘Howard Arkley: Mix’n Match’, Tolarno, Oct.-Nov.1992

- refer linked entry for full details


[1] Arkley’s 1992 files contain a clipping of the Melbourne Age’s obituary for Paul Taylor; see also Taylor 1995, a posthumous collection of his influential articles and interviews, including an informative introduction by Allan Schwartzman, and a complete bibliography of Taylor’s writings. There are also various references to Taylor’s involvement with Arkley’s work in Carnival (refer Index).

[2] See now the obituary by Daniel Thomas in Art + Text 93, Sept.1992, reprinted in Christie’s Melb. 24 Nov.1992 auction catalogue (‘The Estate of Georges Mora’)