Zappo 1983

Alternate title: Lightning

Synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 160 x 120

signed, dated and titled [on reverse: ‘Howard Arkley.83 / ZAPPO / 1983’; earlier title, ‘Lightning,’ crossed  out]

Estate of Etta and Emmanuel Hirsh

First shown, as Lightning, in Arkley’s solo show at Roslyn Oxley9 in June-July 1983, and then, re-titled Zappo, at Tolarno in October 1983 (and thereafter). This was Arkley’s earliest use of this title, later applied especially to his ‘Zappo Head’ images; the term, as noted in Spray, relates specifically to drugs and their effects.

The composition was developed in several earlier drawings: see now Untitled [Zappo study] (1982) [W/P] and Untitled [Zappo study] (1983) [W/P]; and was later reprised several times, notably in Zappo; and source material (1988 and earlier) [W/P].


  • recorded in P/C Melb. in Spray research notes c.1996


  • HA Roslyn Oxley 9, 6/83, cat.8 (as ‘Lightning’: 160 x 120; priced at $1,000)
  • HA Tolarno 10/83, cat.6
  • Heide 7/86 (Primal Painting: see Nixon 1986 for
  • HA Monash 1991, cat.51
  • HA TarraWarra 12/15-2/16


  • Nixon 1986 (Primal Painting; copy in Arkley’s files)
  • Spray 60-61 (inc.full-page ill.)
  • Carnival 106 and Fig.3.18 (full-page ill.)