1977 Works


Several photos show Arkley wearing this while he was overseas with Gower (1977-8).
Series of photos later used as source material for Arkley's 'door' paintings (1978-80).
Idiosyncratic 'collaboration' with the French modernist sculptor through clipped alterations.


Unidentified canvas entered in the Corio Whisky Prize 1977; possibly identical with another painting catalogued here.
Unidentified work shown in Arkley's 1977 Coventry exhibition; possibly identical with Tracing (1975).

Works on Paper

Unidentified work, presumably similar to other examples from this period ('White' W/P cat.no.App.10)
Work on paper variant of Organic Model D (Intuitive Reason) (1976) ('White' W/P cat.no.262)
Unidentified work from Arkley’s 1995 ‘White + Black’ exhibition at Tolarno ('White' W/P cat.no.App.11)
Work on paper related to several paintings dating from 1976-7 ('White' W/P cat.no.134)
One of several similar works on paper from the period, based on the interplay of sprayed and drawn lines ('White' W/P cat.no.125)
Characteristic work on paper from the period, close to Soft Nouveau (1978) ('White' W/P cat.no.137)
Linear pattern of straight and curved lines, with sprayed areas.
Characteristic early work on paper, possibly included in Arkley's 1995 'White + Black' show ('White' W/P cat.no.129)
Another typical early work on paper, possibly exhibited at Tolarno in 1995 ('White' W/P cat.no.130)

Works on Paper Minor

Visual Diaries nos. D7, 7A and 7B all contain compositional sketches and notes of interest in relation to Arkley's major work from this period.
Arkley & NY graffiti (Nov.77)
A watershed year in Arkley’s life, marked by the death of his father in March (see Spray 17 and Preston 2002:62), his first solo show outside Melbourne (at the Coventry Gallery in Sydney, in May), and his first trip overseas, with Elizabeth Gower, between August 1977 and February 1978.

Arkley and Gower’s trip, funded by grants from the Alliance Française and the Australia Council, took them first to Paris, and then to New York, for extended working visits. Still in their mid 20s, the couple revelled in the experience – taking photographs, drawing, making notes, and collecting books and catalogues. While he was away, Arkley devised a novel artistic approach – later dubbed ‘hotel art’ (Brown 1989: 35 and Spray 23ff.) – making small portable works, sometimes translated into larger form later.

In Paris, he photographed historic gates and doors, prefiguring his subsequent photographs of Australian suburban flywire doors, and door-format paintings (1978ff.); in fact, door-shaped compositions already feature in Visual Diaries 6 and 7 (dating from 1976 and 1977 respectively): see further comments below, under 1978.

(photo: Arkley in New York, c.Nov.1977, wearing his ‘Arkley’ jumper [archive photo by Elizabeth Gower])

1977 Exhibitions

Corio Whisky Prize (Geelong, March 1977?) [rev.Sturgeon 1977]:

‘Howard Arkley: Paintings’, Coventry Gallery, Sydney, May 1977

– refer linked entry for full details