1979

1979 Works

Paintings

Widely exhibited canvas formerly in the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Brisbane.
Red/blue/yellow Paisley patterned canvas shown in Arkley's first 'door' exhibition in 1979.
Canvas first shown at the Coventry Gallery in 1980 (as Arabesque); the alternative title 'Floral' may reflect the similarity of the pattern to that of Floral (1981).
'Double door' canvas exhibited at the Coventry Gallery in May 1979.
This characteristic Arkley 'door' was first exhibited in 1979 as 'Deco', then later as both 'Bodgie-Widgie' and Bodgie (the inscribed title).
First shown in 1979 as 'Arrows-Crosses', then in 1980 and thereafter as Deco, the work's inscribed title; in the MCA Collection, Brisbane, until 1992.
Work shown at Tolarno in 1979 but not mentioned since.
= Arabesque 1979 [aka Floral]
Variation on Curvilinear 1978, later reprised on a larger scale in The Proton Neutron 1980.
Sophisticated double-door format canvas shown in Arkley's 1979 Tolarno exhibition and subsequently purchased for the NGV.
The earliest of several similarly named canvases, based on dot-matrix computer print-outs and embroidery patterns.
'Double door' combining replicas of Proton-Neutron 1979 and 50’s 1979.
Door-format work formerly in Chandler Coventry's personal collection. The pattern is based on a piece of 'Contact' adhesive used to cover an old school exercise book.
Red/blue/yellow canvas included in Arkley's two solo 'door' shows in 1979 and 1980.
First shown in 1979 as Coils, then thereafter as Secession; donated to the Wollongong collection by Chandler Coventry in 1981.
Shown in Arkley's first exhibition of door-format paintings at Tolarno in May 1979, but not recorded since.

Works on Paper

Unidentified work on paper exhibited at Mornington in 1979; possibly identical with one of the 'Tram drawings' Arkley showed in Canberra in 1983.
Monochrome work closely related to other works on paper dating from 1979-80.

Works on Paper Minor

Examples in Arkley's archive include several loose sheets as well as related Visual Diaries.

Arkley's studio Feb79

(Arkley’s studio area at the Dan Murphy Building in Prahran, showing the door-format paintings Proton-Neutron 1979 and Bodgie 1979 to the left, the former evidently incomplete; on the desk in the foreground one can see working sketches, photographs of Paris doors, and one of the artist’s visual diaries; photo: Elizabeth Gower [archive slide with process date Feb79])

Arkley’s shift from his first, ‘white’ style to pattern-based ‘ornamentalism’ (already well developed in his studio practice in 1978) was made public in his first show of door paintings at Tolarno, in May 1979, which met with critical if not commercial success. Jeff Makin, reviewing the show in the Sun, praised the clarity and intelligence of the works, and described Arkley as a ‘young artist who is developing incredibly well’. Isotype 1979, a key work from the show, was subsequently purchased for the National Gallery of Victoria, through the Michell Endowment (for the acquisition of new works by emerging Australian artists). In her review of the Michell exhibition at the NGV later in the year, Mary Eagle singled out Arkley’s painting as one of the most significant new purchases (see bibliography, for details of relevant reviews cited here).

1979 Exhibitions

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

– refer linked entry for full details

4th Biennial Festival of Drawing, Mornington Peninsula Arts Centre, 2 Nov.-10 Dec.1979

‘Selected Works from the Michell Endowment’, National Gallery of Victoria, 15 Dec.1979 – 2 March 1980 (cat.in artist’s files)

Group exh., Coventry Gallery, Sydney

(noted in Duncan 1991: 31, under 1979; no dates or details available)