Suburban Exterior (1983)

Synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 160 x 120

RMIT University Collection, Melbourne (PIT 1992.88)

The earliest of Arkley’s many suburban exteriors, first shown at Tolarno in Oct.1983. This work is also an intriguing precursor of the all-over patterned approach to the subject that the artist perfected a decade later in the ‘Pointillist Suburb’ series (1994).

The location and provenance of this key early work were clarified in 2014 (thanks to Jon Buckingham, RMIT collections coordinator, who also forwarded a good photograph).


  • Purchased by the Phillip Institute of Technology, 1984
  • Transferred to RMIT collection 1992 (after merger with PIT)


  • HA Tolarno 10/83, cat.3
  • Art Gallery of Western Australia, 2/84 (‘Form, Image, Sign’)
  • ANZART at Edinburgh 8/84, and George Paton Gallery, University of Melbourne, 2/85 (‘Meaning & Excellence’)
  • Benalla Art Gallery, 1/10/2011 – 20/11/2011 (‘Juan Davila and Howard Arkley: Masters of contemporary collaboration’)
  • RMIT Gallery, 13/5/2018 – 9/6/2018 (‘Chaos and Order: 120 years of collecting at RMIT’)


  • Spray 67-9 (inc.full-page ill.)
  • Carnival 71 and Fig.2.19
  • Vivian 2008: 41 (ill.)