Freeway Exit (1999)

Synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 175 x 135

The Buxton Collection, Melbourne

Like the other paintings in Arkley’s last solo show, at the Karyn Lovegrove Gallery in Los Angeles, this canvas glows with colour, as in the mauve-rose hues of the further columns, and the answering blues of sky and road. Thus it clearly contradicts the notion of Arkley’s late freeways (1994-99) as generally detached, analytical, even ‘cold’ and ‘alienating’ – a view first developed in Spray (1997), p.116, quoting remarks by the artist himself, and subsequently repeated and developed by several commentators. For my own critique of this line of argument, with further examples and references, see Carnival in Suburbia (2006), pp.45-46.

Both the present canvas and Supa Interior (1999), also first shown in Los Angeles in 1999, were acquired for the Buxton Collection in Melbourne in 2001, and both subsequently appeared in the Buxton exhibition at Heide (Nov.2001-Feb.2002). Unfortunately, the reproduction in the 2001 Heide catalogue, p.14, supposedly of this work, actually shows a different, gloomier freeway canvas whose provenance has yet to be verified, and this confusion was compounded in previous versions of the present catalogue. Many thanks to Geoffrey Smith of Smith & Singer for drawing my attention to this error, which is corrected here (revised entry, March 2024).


  • P/C USA
  • Gould Galleries (acquired from the above)
  • Buxton Collection, 2001 (acquired from the above)


  • HA Lovegrove LA, 7/99
  • HA Gould 2/00, cat.10
  • Buxton Collection exhibition, Museum of Modern Art at Heide, Nov.2001-Feb.2002
  • HA TarraWarra, 2015-16


  • Crawford, A Person Looks at a Work of Art… [Buxton Collection], Heide, 2001, pp.10-11 and 14 (reproduction: but see comments above)
  • Fitzpatrick & Lynn, Howard Arkley and Friends (2015), pp.140 (reproduction) and 144 (list of works)