‘Howard Arkley’, Tolarno, April-May 1975

‘Howard Arkley’, Tolarno Galleries, 42 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, 23 April -May 1975

Check-list and price list in Arkley’s files: all works identified as acrylic on canvas; the dimensions of nos.1-3 (priced at $500 each), are listed as 165 x 240, and nos.4-8 as 180 x 160 ($400 each). Without general installation shots, some works are difficult to identify. Archive slides of several works bear process dates of May75, and were presumably taken at this show.

Four works definitely remained in Arkley’s collection at his death (nos. 1, 3, 7 and 8), and some of the unidentified works may also be equivalent to other untitled paintings in the artist’s collection, as noted. Works shown were as follows:

1.    A Piece Called Nerve (1975)

2.    Tracing (1975?): tentative ID

3.    Operations, Notch, Trim 1975

4.    Static/Dynamic Opposition (1974): tentative ID

5.    Impetus: unidentified; possibly = Untitled [‘Five stripes’] (c.1975-6?), or Stroke (1975), the latter painting documented in Arkley’s archive by a slide, reproduced here, with process date May75 (like other works shown at Tolarno in 1975)

6.    Doomsday Notations (1975): not certainly identified; probably identical with Winter Notations 1975 or (less probably) Oriental (Wave Study) (1974).

7.    Seltsamer: almost certainly Seltsamer (1975), a work still in Arkley’s collection at his death, and subsequently included in the 2006 HA retrospective (as c.1976), and reproduced in Carnival Fig.3.9 (as 1975). Slides in Arkley’s archive include one with process date May75 (reproduced below).

8.    Inventory (1975). Arkley’s archive slide with process date May75 (reproduced below) shows the work in a very minimal form – presumably documenting the less developed state in which it was shown in this exhibition. Later (at least by 1995), further geometric elements were added, resulting in its present form, as shown in HA Tolarno 1995 (‘White + Black’), and the 2006 retrospective (as ‘Untitled [c.1976]’).

[photos: Stroke (1975), Seltsamer (1975) and Inventory (1975), presumed here to have been photographed at the 1975 Tolarno exhibition (slides in Arkley’s archives, all processed May 1975)]