Deco 1979

Alternate title: Arrows-Crosses

Synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 203.6 x 78.6

signed, dated and titled (‘Deco’) on reverse

Collection: unknown

This door-format canvas was first shown as Arrows-Crosses at Tolarno in  May 1979 (where a different canvas appeared with the title ‘Deco’, the work later re-titled Bodgie 1979), and then, re-named Deco, at the Coventry Gallery in 1980. There could hardly be a better example of the freedom with which Arkley shuffled works and titles during this period (the details have been clarified only through careful attention to his archive slides). Arkley’s titling habits have also led to some confusion with Arrows and Crosses (1980) (mistakenly reproduced in Spray 28 with the title ‘Deco’!).

The present work was one of the Arkley paintings formerly in the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Brisbane, later purchased by a private collector at the Sotheby’s MCA auction in June 1992, and in that collection until May 2012.


  • Brisbane, Museum of Contemporary Art
  • auctioned by Sotheby’s, Melb., 21/6/92 (MCA sale), lot 7 (details as above; ill.): est.$2-3,000; sold for $2,000 plus buyer’s premium
  • Private collection, Sydney, 1992-2012
  • auctioned by Deutscher & Hackett, Sydney, 2 May 2012, lot 2 (as Deco; size given as 203.5 x 78.5; ill.); est.$25-35,000; sold for $22,000 plus buyer’s premium


  • HA Tolarno 5/79, cat.7 (as Arrows-Crosses)
  • HA Coventry 3/80, cat.6 (as Deco)
  • Roslyn Oxley9, Sydney, 1/88 (‘1968-1988 Selected Works’): as Deco (coll.MCA)
  • George Paton Gallery, Univ.of Melbourne, 8/88 (‘Suburbanism’): as Deco (coll.MCA)
  • Queensland Art Gallery 1990 (‘Art of the 70s’)
  • HA Monash 1991, cat.18


  • Engberg, ‘Suburbanism’ 1988 (, 3-4 (B&W ill.)