Science 1981

Synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 160 x 160

signed, dated and titled [on reverse: ‘Howard Arkley 81 / Science’]

Private collection, Melbourne

Shown in HA Tolarno 7/81 and Solander 10/81, and reproduced on the Tolarno invitation. This is a classic example of Arkley’s interest in the grid, a key theoretical focus of the period (see discussion in Carnival 64-5, citing Rosalind Krauss in particular).

In the audio-guide prepared for the 2006 Arkley retrospective, John Gregory commented on the use of optical illusion here to suggest depth, contradicting the flat patterned surface.


  • unknown


  • HA Tolarno 7/81, cat.2
  • HA Solander 10/81, cat.2
  • HA Monash 1991, cat.37 (details as above)
  • HA retrospective 2006-7 (shown at all 3 venues)


  • Spray 38 (ill.: but oriented with top to left)
  • NGVA Arkley audio-guide 2006 (comments as noted above)