1974 Works


Possibly entered in the Clayton Art Prize, 1974.
This characteristic early work features vigorously sprayed horizontal lines.
An elegant monochrome work first shown under the alternative title 'Second Tracing' in 1975, when it won the Inez Hutchinson Prize.
First, square-format version of composition repeated in Seltsamer (1975)
Canvas included in Arkley's first solo show and identified here via description in Spray.
Canvas first recorded in an Arkley file slide dated 1974; possibly exhibited under another title in 1974.
Variant of Seltsamer (1974), probably also dating from 1974.
Possibly identical with one of the unidentified canvases from Arkley's early period.

Works on Paper

Unidentified work on paper entered in the Musswellbrook Prize 1974 ('White' W/P cat.no.App.2)
Elaborate drawing featuring both sprayed and finely-drawn elements, some in colour ('White' W/P cat.no.180)
Characteristic early work on paper, reproduced in Spray ('White' W/P cat.no.84)
Characteristic work, exhibited in the Arkley survey at Monash 1991 ('White' W/P cat.no.91)
Unidentified study shown in the 1991 Arkley survey at Monash ('White' W/P cat.no.App.1)
One of a number of inter-related works from this period ('White' W/P cat.no.99).
Typical smaller work on paper from this period ('White' W/P cat.no.100)
Another work on paper closely related to Winter Notations 1975 [W/P] ('White' W/P cat.no.233)
Outlined circles in rectangles ('White' W/P cat.no.9)
Eight ink horizontals with branching lines ('White' W/P cat.no.5)
Stylized leaf forms in black ink outline ('White' W/P cat.no.55)
Characteristic early example, related to Recording (wave study) 1976 ('White' W/P cat.no.102)
Short sprayed strokes in three columns ('White' W/P cat.no.167)
= 'White' W/P cat.no.183
Zig-zag patterns developed on a square grid pattern ('White' W/P cat.no.2)
Sprayed and ink lines suggesting some sort of structure ('White' W/P cat.no.146)
A collection of various formal motifs ('White' W/P cat.no.153)
An experiment in configuring four vertical elements differently ('White' W/P cat.no.148)
Zig-zagging patterns in ink and sprayed lines ('White' W/P cat.no.149)
Drawing contrasting solid grey and black sprayed areas ('White' W/P cat.no.170)
Composition in ink, wash and spray paint ('White' W/P cat.no.150)
Elaborate composition including some components in colour ('White' W/P cat.no.172)
Series of contrasting black lines, drawn and sprayed ('White' W/P cat.no.147)
Overlapping shapes outlined in coloured fibre-tipped pen ('White' W/P cat.no.138)
Outlined organic shapes against a grid ('White' W/P cat.no.47)
Curvilinear pattern at the left, with some outlined circles ('White' W/P cat.no.183)
Finely-detailed composition including a cut-out rectangle ('White' W/P cat.no.154)
Drawing related to other 'organic' works dating from 1976-77 ('White' W/P cat.no.160)
Gridded square with black sprayed dots ('White' W/P cat.no.142)
Sprayed fields with linear detail in both black and red ink ('White' W/P cat.no.179)
Characteristic early work, contrasting sprayed and drawn lines ('White' W/P cat.no.151)
Small geometric elements arranged in rows ('White' W/P cat.no.176)
Groups of short sprayed strokes in four columns ('White' W/P cat.no.182)
Intricate drawing related to several of Arkley's 'organic' canvases from 1976-7 ('White' W/P cat.no.161)
Echoing black lines, geometric and sprayed ('White' W/P cat.no.145)
Four outlined circles within a rectangular border ('White' W/P cat.no.29)
Work on paper closely related to Untitled [Sprayed rectangular fields] (c.1975-6?) ('white' W/P cat.no.174)
'Actuality' study in horizontal format ('White' W/P cat.no.162)
'Organic' sketch related to several canvases dating from 1976-77 ('White' W/P cat.no.159)
One of several examples based on short sprayed strokes ('White' W/P cat.no.164)
Another drawing related to Actuality (Is the Void Between Events) 1976 ('White' W/P cat.no.163)
Linear pattern made up largely of half circles ('White' W/P cat.no.16)
Sketchy forms with a black rectangle ('White' W/P cat.no.152)
Variant of Winter Notations 1975 [W/P] ('White' W/P cat.no.232)
Outlined grey square and scratchy line-work ('White' W/P cat.no.191)
Ornamental linear composition ('White' W/P cat.no.33)
Ink drawing showing a stylized landscape ('White' W/P cat.no.53)
Outlined circles, arcs and lines within a rectangle ('White' W/P cat.no.20)
Solid grey square with horizontal brush-strokes ('White' W/P cat.no.193)
Verticals in black and blue ('White' W/P cat.no.202)
Three sprayed rectangles, arranged vertically ('White' W/P cat.no.203)
Sprayed verticals with red and blue circles ('White' W/P cat.no.204)
Double-sided work exhibited in the 2006-7 Arkley retrospective (recto); the verso includes quasi-musical imagery ('White' W/P cat.no.224)
Series of diagrammatic shapes with ink and spray detail ('White' W/P cat.no.225)
Closely related to the canvas catalogued here as Tracing (1975?).
Sprayed horizontals with outlined red circles ('White' W/P cat.no.194)
Double-sided sheet with sketchy ink drawings ('White' W/P cat.no.197)
Horizontal image, printed from wood? ('White' W/P cat.no.198)
Six ruled verticals with branching lines ('White' W/P cat.no.4)
Another horizontal, apparently printed from wood ('White' W/P cat.no.199)
One of two large early ‘white’ drawings shown in the Arkley retrospective in 2006-7 ('White' W/P cat.no.227)
Two groups of sprayed and drawn verticals ('White' W/P cat.no.208)
Fragmented ink outlines, crossed by a diagonal line ('White' W/P cat.no.45)
Branching linear forms over pencilled verticals ('White' W/P cat.no.3)
White drawing based on straight lines and segments of circles ('White' W/P cat.no.8)
Pattern made up of outlined half circles and curves ('White' W/P cat.no.17)
Outlined circles and lines, in this case in several differently-coloured inks ('White' W/P cat.no.52)
Sprayed/ruled lines running vertically and diagonally ('White' W/P cat.no.92)
Arkley's name above sprayed horizontal strokes ('White' W/P cat.no.96)
Sheet related to Oriental (Wave Study) 1974 [aka Second Tracing ('White' W/P cat.no.101)
Spiky linear curves with sprayed infill ('White' W/P cat.no.111)
Two sprayed rectangles in the lower half of the sheet ('White' W/P cat.no.173)
Diagonal patterning towards the upper left part of the sheet ('White' W/P cat.no.27)
Vertical crayon strokes, some with a sprayed ‘aura’ ('White' W/P cat.no.181)
Unusual composition comprising six smaller ink drawings ('White' W/P cat.no.184)
Large-scale 'organic' composition ('White' W/P cat.no.237)
Another example of Arkley's 'organic' style c.1976 ('White' W/P cat.no.238)
Only the right half of the 2-part sheet is completed; the image comprises short horizontal marks, each with a sprayed 'aura' ('White' W/P no.239A)
Larger, sketchier variant of
    Untitled [A220] (c.1974-76) [W/P]
Ink drawing, showing curving lines in contrasting movement ('White' W/P cat.no.49)
Sprayed and drawn elements are assembled in diagrammatic fashion (compare Inventory 1976) [White W/P no.225A]
Shard-like composition, like several other 'white' drawings ('White' W/P no.238A).
An example in which the sprayed lines seem to suggest water ('White W/P no.155A).
A sketchy variant of
    Untitled [W9] (c.1974-76) [W/P]
('White W/P cat.158A).
Possibly an alternative title page: compare 
    Untitled [A214] (c.1974-76) [W/P]
Smaller variant of Untitled [A143] (c.1974-76) [W/P]
Another smaller variant of Untitled [A143] (c.1974-76) [W/P]
Curving forms outlined in ink ('White' W/P cat.no.13)
Complex pattern of outlined half circles and curves ('White' W/P cat.no.18)
A highly finished example, featuring monochrome body colour ('White' W/P cat.no.69)
Curved outlined shapes in a triangulated frame ('White' W/P cat.no.15)
Springy linear patterns within rectangular fields ('White' W/P cat.no.38)
Angled lines and curves above ink horizontals ('White' W/P cat.no.7)
Two organic forms freely painted over underlying geometric elements ('White' W/P cat.no.58)
Pattern comprising a series of intersecting linear arcs ('White' W/P cat.no.19)
Outlined square, divided diagonally ('White' W/P cat.no.1)
Ink drawing, comprising outlined circles and lines ('White' W/P cat.no.51)
Spiky diagonal lines spring from the lower left ('White' W/P cat.no.40)
Double-sided sheet with two interesting drawings, both apparently incomplete ('White' W/P cat.no.211A)
Two organic forms in black ink ('White' W/P cat.no.57)
This sheet provides an intriguing contrast between a realistic pencil drawing and a typical 'white' abstract.
Overlapping segments of circles ('White' W/P cat.no.10)
Linear composition, possibly suggesting an architectural view ('White' W/P cat.no.28)
Produced mostly in body colour and crayon, this drawing may suggest a landscape.
A stylised 'landscape' in outlined and solid black ink ('White' W/P cat.no.54)
Linear composition, possibly architectural ('White' W/P cat.no.31)
Linear composition, again possibly architectural ('White' W/P cat.no.32)
‘White’ drawing shown in the 2006-7 Arkley retrospective, comprising a spring form in thick black ink ('White' W/P cat.no.42)
Outlined circles and tubular forms intersect (='White' W/P cat.no.24)
Linear composition in cross format ('White' W/P cat.no.30)
Line-drawing reminiscent of a mechanical drawing ('White' W/P cat.no.22)
Another mechanical-drawing style image ('White' W/P cat.no.23)
Series of horizontals with branching lines ('White' W/P cat.no.6)
Curved lines in ovoid shapes ('White' W/P cat.no.37)
Curvilinear pattern reminiscent of wrought-iron decoration ('White' W/P cat.no.36)
Ink lines springing up diagonally from left to right ('White' W/P cat.no.39)
Another example featuring stylised linear leaf forms ('White' W/P cat.no.56)
Sequence of curves outlined in ink ('White' W/P cat.no.14)
Pattern made up of circular outlines ('White' W/P cat.no.11)
Minimal composition comprising curving lines ('White' W/P cat.no.34)
Line-drawing in ink, with curving shapes and three circles ('White' W/P cat.no.48)
Diagrammatic work on paper shown in the 2006-7 Arkley retrospective ('White' W/P cat.no.52)
Two linear forms 'cancelled' with black spray ('White' W/P cat.no.83)
Branching lines embellished with black spray infill ('White' W/P cat.no.77)
Plant-like pattern of linear and sprayed forms ('White' W/P cat.no.78)
Two black triangular forms ('White' W/P cat.no.73)
Heavy concentration of sprayed dots over an underlying linear pattern ('White' W/P cat.no.106)
Black sprayed lines over linear twig forms ('White' W/P cat.no.79)
Cascading black sprayed waves ('White' W/P cat.no.76)
Pattern made up of outlined circles and curves ('White' W/P cat.no.12)
Composition in red, blue and yellow sprayed paint ('White' W/P cat.no.129)
Shapes sprayed in red, blue and yellow ('White' W/P cat.no.130)
Example involving an elaborate series of shard-like masked sprayed areas ('White' W/P cat.no.121)
'Critters' based on Arkley's pre-1974 imagery ('White' W/P cat.no.70)
‘White’ drawing shown in the 2006-7 Arkley retrospective ('White' W/P cat.no.112)
Curving lines with black spray ('White' W/P cat.no.113)
‘White’ drawing comprising wave-like patterns of drawn and sprayed lines ('White' W/P cat.no.114)
Another small 'white' drawing combining ink line-work with sprayed areas.
Ink line-drawing, showing what looks like a stylized landscape ('White' W/P cat.no.50)
White drawing featuring dots and curved lines ('White' W/P cat.no.103)
Curvilinear pattern with sprayed dots ('White' W/P cat.no.104)
Another example combining curving linear forms with sprayed dots ('White' W/P cat.no.105)
Mechanical-looking pattern made up of curved lines ('White' W/P cat.no.21)
Outlined rectangle, freely over-sprayed in black ('White' W/P cat.no.82)
Actuality study shown in the 2006-7 Arkley retrospective ('White' W/P cat.no.86)
Another 'white' drawing related to Actuality (Is the Void Between Events) 1976 ('White' W/P cat.no.87)
One of the sequence of ‘white’ drawings shown in the 2006-7 Arkley retrospective ('White' W/P cat.no.91)
A rectangle of short vertical chalk lines ('White' W/P cat.no.59)
Crayon marks resembling a contour map, with a faint overspray of coloured paint ('White' W/P cat.no.60)
Curvilinear pattern suggesting wrought-iron decoration ('White' W/P cat.no.35)
Sketchy, ribbon-like forms ('White' W/P cat.no.61)
Sketchy, track-like marks in black ink ('White' W/P cat.no.67)
Sketchy organic forms in pencil ('White' W/P cat.no.63)
Sketchy organic forms in black ink ('White' W/P cat.no.62)
Sketchy leaf form in pencil ('White' W/P cat.no.64)
Fragmented shapes, faintly outlined in pencil ('White' W/P cat.no.43)
Linear pattern with sketchy, twig-like marks in black ink ('White' W/P cat.no.68)
Fragmented shapes with two crossing diagonals ('White' W/P cat.no.46)
Intertwining branch-like forms in black crayon ('White' W/P cat.no.66)
Another freely drawn sketch of a leaf, in faint pencil ('White' W/P cat.no.65)
Composition based on a coiled line springing from the lower left ('White' W/P cat.no.41)
Linear drawing with collaged French text ('White' W/P cat.no.25)
The twin of Untitled [A90] (c.1974-76) [W/P], again including collaged French text ('White' W/P cat.no.26)
Another drawing related to Actuality (Is the Void Between Events) 1976 ('White' W/P cat.no.88)
This drawing is close to several other 'Actuality' variants.
Fragmented shapes, outlined in ink ('White' W/P cat.no.44)
Sprayed horizontal strokes in three columns ('White' W/P cat.no.168)
Black sprayed and drawn verticals ('White' W/P cat.no.201)
Two columnar forms in ink and sprayed paint ('White' W/P cat.no.211)
Rectangular composition divided into several small sprayed fields ('White' W/P cat.no.175)
Spayed and drawn work known only via an archive slide ('White' W/P cat.no.157)
Sketchy drawing, apparently large-scale ('White' W/P cat.no.186)
Another sketchy work known only via an archive slide ('White' W/P cat.no.186)
Elaborate example using both black ink and coloured spray paint ('White' W/P cat.no.132)
Coloured spray with a black line ('White' W/P cat.no.133)
Coloured spray paint in a horizontal format ('White' W/P cat.no.131)
Meandering black sprayed lines ('White' W/P cat.no.109)
Coloured ink and spray paint with added collage ('White' W/P cat.no.125)
Composition combining line-work, coloured spray and collage elements ('White' W/P cat.no.134)
Linear composition with added sprayed primary colour ('White' W/P cat.no.127)
Linear shapes with red and yellow spray ('White' W/P cat.no.126)
Outlined squares with black and coloured spray paint ('White' W/P cat.no.135)
Black sprayed lines over fine linear patterning ('White' W/P cat.no.110)
Linear/sprayed example known only via an archive slide ('White' W/P cat.no.71)
Four sprayed verticals with kinky curves ('White' W/P cat.no.74)
Apparently large-scale, possibly experimental work ('White' W/P cat.no.235)
Ruled verticals and sprayed diagonals ('White' W/P cat.no.207)
‘White’ drawing shown in the 1991 Arkley survey at Monash ('White' W/P cat.no.80)
‘White’ drawing exhibited in the 1991 Arkley survey at Monash ('White' W/P cat.no.93)
Unusual drawing featuring twig-like forms in an ovoid field ('White' W/P cat.no.81)
'White' drawing based on the contrast between sprayed and drawn forms ('White' W/P cat.no.94)
Typical white drawing, identified in an inscription as the first in a series from 1974 ('White' W/P cat.no.97)
Elegant sheet with black outlined squares and ink spatter ('White' W/P cat.no.140)
Minimal drawing with a patch of ink spatter ('White' W/P cat.no.139)
Boxed forms outlined in sprayed paint and ink ('White' W/P cat.no.141)
Short sprayed strokes with two vertical lines ('White' W/P cat.no.169)
Sprayed horizontals in three columns ('White' W/P cat.no.170)
Another drawing comprising short sprayed strokes ('White' W/P cat.no.171)
Sketchy sheet with black spray and blue paint ('White' W/P cat.no.174)
Circles with added shading in crayon ('White' W/P cat.no.189)
Sheet with two distinct drawings side by side ('White' W/P cat.no.256)
Double-sided sheet with various sketches ('White' W/P cat.no.236)
Jagged outlines in coloured pencil, with some sprayed shading ('White' W/P cat.no.182)
Elegant sheet with two distinct images side by side ('White' W/P cat.no.253)
Two fields, gridded and sprayed ('White' W/P cat.no.251)
Four-part composition in primary colours and black spray ('White' W/P cat.no.241)
Another two-part drawing, echoing various other mid 70s compositions ('White' W/P cat.no.257)
Verticals with outlined squares ('White' W/P cat.no.205)
Three sets of vertical lines with sprayed emphasis ('White' W/P cat.no.223)
Faintly sprayed strokes in two fields ('White' W/P cat.no.244)
Grey square with sketchy line-work ('White' W/P cat.no.192)
Diagrammatic drawing comprising black dots and lines ('White' W/P cat.no.136)
A work on paper variant of Seltsamer [#1] (1974) ('White' W/P cat.no.206)
Vivid composition in blue, green and magenta ('White' W/P cat.no.213)
Sheet sprayed freely in yellow, blue and green ('White' W/P cat.no.214)
Large two-part drawing in excellent condition ('White' W/P cat.no.255)
Two halves, with rough verticals and horizontals respectively ('White' W/P cat.no.246)
Black square with blue sprayed marks ('White' W/P cat.no.200)
Double-sided sheet with turbulent sprayed composition and sketches ('White' W/P cat.no.217)
Four sprayed rectangles arranged in a line ('White' W/P cat.no.229)
Double-sided sheet with sprayed images ('White' W/P cat.no.210)
Contrasting images suggesting cascading and still water ('White' W/P cat.no.248)
Two sprayed rectangles ('White' W/P cat.no.172)
Drawing with two sprayed rectangles to the left ('White' W/P cat.no.228)
Quirky series of small quasi-mechanical line-drawings ('White' W/P cat.no.185)
Irregular sprayed oblong ('White' W/P cat.no.220)
Freely sprayed lines in several colours ('White' W/P cat.no.215)
Contrasting fields of horizontal lines, turbulent and precisely ruled ('White' W/P cat.no.249)
Large-scale abstract composition, sprayed, drawn and painted ('White' W/P cat.no.226)
Contrasting fields of ink lines, wavy and straight ('White' W/P cat.no.250)
Two sets of sprayed and ruled verticals ('White' W/P cat.no.209)
Mechanical form in pencil with coloured oval ('White' W/P cat.no.182)
Minimal work with collaged grey square ('White' W/P cat.no.190)
Overlapping linear shapes drawn in variously coloured inks ('White' W/P cat.no.137)
Double-sided sheet with recto image showing three panels of freely sprayed marks ('White' W/P cat.no.218)
Minimal example with atmospheric areas of black spray paint ('White' W/P cat.no.216)
Outlined circle with black sprayed detail ('White' W/P cat.no.221)
Two fields side by side, one sprayed, the other gridded ('White' W/P cat.no.252)
Roughly drawn and sprayed vertical strokes, in two fields ('White' W/P cat.no.245)
Rectangular area of turbulent sprayed line-work ('White' W/P cat.no.219)
Sprayed horizontals with red and blue circles ('White' W/P cat.no.196)
Highly finished composition in two distinct halves ('White' W/P cat.no.254)
Small coloured elements on a diagonal path, with black spray ('White' W/P cat.no.242)
Black sprayed crosses with ruled verticals ('White' W/P cat.no.143)
Black sprayed lines over drawn crosses ('White' W/P cat.no.144)
Sprayed and drawn oblongs ('White' W/P cat.no.174)

Works on Paper Minor

A number of less formal works on paper remained in the Arkley archive at the artist's death, including pencil sketches (some dated 1974), still in his late 60s/early 70s style, and several cartoon-style ink sketches.

NGVA 2006 (White W_P)#C515

(photo: Detail of Arkley retrospective installation, NGVA, Nov.2006, showing most of the smaller ‘white’ works on paper included, dating from 1974ff. [photo by Narelle Wilson, courtesy NGV])

In January, Arkley won first prize at the Australia Day art show in outer suburban Frankston, for Transpass (1972). The local newspaper report, which included a photo of him and Elizabeth Gower with the work, noted his ambition ‘to work full-time as a professional painter of modern art’ (unidentified clipping in Arkley’s archive). Despite this success, Arkley was still a relatively unknown recent graduate, still searching for an independent artistic voice.During the year, however, that clearly changed, as the experimental complexity of his earlier work gave way to a stronger, simpler, largely monochrome style, focusing particularly on the contrast between precise and gestural mark-making. Underlying this formal development was a considered blend of ideas drawn from modernist art theory, philosophy and science.

From 1974 onwards, he pursued this project in a sequence of large ‘white paintings’, and a very extensive series of related works on paper – resulting, by 1976, in a very substantial and sophisticated body of work (for detailed accounts of his ‘white’ period, including the ideas underpinning the works, see especially Spray, ch.2, Carnival 94-100, and Smith, Howard Arkley, 2006).

The 2006 NGV retrospective (see e.g. installation photo above) provided a strong sense of the range and variety of this key early phase of his career, although only a small fraction of the paintings and works and paper he made at the time was shown there.

Arkley Works now covers the artist’s entire ‘white’ oeuvre, many previously uncatalogued drawings from the period 1974-78 being added in 2013. The great majority of these are listed under 1974, given that few drawings are precisely dated. For a more detailed analysis and a systematic catalogue, see also ‘White’ works on paper 1974-78.

Recognition of Arkley’s growing artistic maturity was signalled, above all, by the decision of Georges Mora, director of Tolarno Galleries in St Kilda (established in 1967), to invite Arkley to join his stable during the year. Association with Tolarno – where Arkley would go on to exhibit (remarkably enough) throughout his career from 1975-99 – significantly expanded the circle of connections he had already established at Prahran College and elsewhere. During his years there he was exposed to a significant array of major Australian and international artists, from Juan Davila (who first exhibited there in 1977, soon after his arrival in Australia) and John Brack (who showed with Tolarno from 1985 onwards), to younger artists including Tim Jones, Callum Morton, Constanze Zikos, and many others (for Tolarno, see e.g. McCullough 2006, p.1150; and for Arkley’s first meeting with Davila at Tolarno, see Gregory 2001, p.3).

1974 Exhibitions

(details based on Duncan 1991: 16 and 31, and HA Bio.1969-75 – but some of these details seem unreliable)

Bunbury Art Prize, W.A., 1974 [check-list in Arkley’s archive]

Clayton Art Prize

Contemporary Arts Society, Hanover Prize

  • Seltsamer (painting, 5½’ square): identified here as Seltsamer (1974) (& see Portland Art Prize below)

Corio 5 Star Whisky Prize exh., Geelong Art Gallery

Frankston Art Prize exh., Australia Day weekend, 1974 [unidentified clippings in Arkley’s files]

Inez Hutchinson Prize exh. (Beaumaris? – see 1975)

  • Fast (painting, 4’ x 5½’): possibly = Fast Lid 1974 (as exh.in Corio Whisky Prize, Geelong, 1973)

The Musswellbrook Art Prize and Purchase Exhibition, 1974 [check-list in Arkley’s files]

Perth Drawing Prize (?) [acc.to Duncan 1991: 31, but not listed in Bio.1969-75 for 1974]

– (no details)

Portland Art Prize, 1974

  • Seltsamer (painting, 5½’ square): again presuming this = Seltsamer (1974), as for Contemporary Arts Society above

Ronald Awards

  • Static/Dynamic Opposition (drawing): unidentified

Sulman Prize exh.

  • Winged (painting, 4½’ square): unidentified (however, cf.Spray 14, for a reproduction of a smaller early work called ‘Untitled 1971’, still in Arkley’s archive and identified on a 197
    3 slide as ‘Winged’)

Tumut Art Prize

  • Turbulence (painting? 4’ square) [honourable mention]: unidentified

Wangaratta Art Prize

  • Intoxication (painting, 4’ x 6’): unidentified

Warnambool Caltex Prize

  • Flight (painting 5½’ square): unidentified

Wollongong Purchase Prize