1998 Works


This work, shown in 'Sampling' (Tolarno Nov.1998), plays with 50s decorative masonry patterns.
First exhibited in ‘Sampling’ (HA Tolarno 11/98).
First shown in ‘Sampling’ (Tolarno 11/98), and later in a different configuration at Heide (2001).
One of the consoles first shown in ‘Sampling’ (Tolarno 11/98).
Typical piece from the 'Sampling' exhibition (Tolarno, Nov.1998).
Another bracket shown in ‘Sampling’, 1998.
Exhibited in ‘Sampling’ (Tolarno 1998) and auctioned by Sotheby's in 2001.
The title appears to refer to the dot patterning, used here in 'off' registration.
First shown in 'Sampling' (1998) and then, configured differently, at Heide in 2001.
First exhibited in ‘Sampling’ (1998); auctioned in 2008 with a fourth, ‘spare’ canvas.
Modelled on commercial display stands Arkley photographed in Oakleigh in 1998.
Furniture piece shown in 'Sampling' (1998), modelled directly on retail display stands.
A 3-D ‘doodle’ on wheels, first shown in the ‘Sampling’ exhibition late in 1998.
This work was made for a Jewish Museum charity auction in 1998.


This work, which exemplifies Arkley’s late suburban style at its most assured, atmospheric and monumental, was widely publicised in 1998-99.
A late still-life directly referencing a John Brack painting of 1957.
Based on the same composition as Cosy Clinker (1994) and Residence with Gate 1999 .
First exhibited in the 1998 Sydney Biennale, this work is a sophisticated late study in spatial and optical paradox.
Shown at Metro 5 in 2002, this work reprises motifs and patterns from other 1990s canvases
This work and its three companions are all sourced from Arkley's copy of a 1976 U.S decorator manual.
One of a set shown in 'Sampling' (1998).
One of the series of designer chairs shown in 'Sampling' (2008).
From the series of chairs shown in 'Sampling' (1998).
Higher-keyed variant of Still Life Petunias 1987.
This monumental work was first shown in the 1998 Sydney Biennale.
This work is still in the corporate collection for which it was purchased in 1998.
Variant of a favourite Arkley house composition, close to several other late versions.
In this late freeway image, road and sky are both in the same sky-blue hue, and the prominent mauve column in the foreground is modelled.
This canvas, a variant of Suburban Interior (1995) [W/P], is documented by an archive photo.
Work first documented at auction with Leonard Joel, Melbourne, August 2000.

Works on Paper

This work is first recorded at auction (several times) in Sydney in 2004 and again in 2007.
The softened tones and grey line-work are typical of Arkley's late style.
This portrait is typical of Arkley's late sprayed work-on-paper heads.
Late variant of the composition used for Our Home (1986) and various later versions.
One of several work-on-paper variations of the composition Arkley first used for Cosy Clinker (1994).
Head exhibited in HA Metro 5, Feb.2002.
Sketchy head donated by Arkley to a charity auction in about 1998.
Late work based on the same real estate source as Stucco House (1988) and Floriated Residence (1994).
Late example of Arkley’s Tudor House imagery.
Possibly one of the set of Arkley heads exhibited at Metro 5 in 2002, this work was sold at auction in 2005.
Head probably shown in HA Metro 5, Feb.2002.
Probably one of the heads first exhibited in HA Metro 5, Feb.2002.
Probably one of the heads exhibited in HA Metro 5, Feb.2002.
Group exhibited in HA Metro 5, Feb.2002.

Works on Paper Minor

Examples include a group of dot-matrix drawings made on a computer, and sketches for several contemporary works.

Aug.1998 Domain cover

Cover of the Sydney Morning Herald‘s ‘Domain’ magazine, 27 August 1998, featuring a detail of A Large House with Fence (1998)

Arkley’s works appeared in several significant exhibitions, nationally and internationally, during the year. His suburban imagery continued to feature prominently, for example in the Sydney Biennale (Aug-Sept.1998), dedicated to the ‘Every Day’, which included two major new paintings, Riteroom and Superb + Solid.[1]

The gap between Arkley’s imagery and the houses he represented seemed to be narrowing considerably in some viewers’ perception, to judge from various real estate stories illustrated with his images.[2] But two of the year’s major international touring shows (‘Claustrophobia’ and ‘Unhomely’) placed his suburban works into a more complicated context, involving the idea of domestic life as two-edged – both comfortable and strange.[3] ‘Claustrophobia’ firmly located Arkley (and Australian colleagues Carolyn Eskdale and Kathy Temin) in an international context. The exhibition, initiated by the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, was shown in various British centres from June 1998 through to January 2000, and also included works by Rachel Whiteread, Mona Hatoum and others, in a searching analysis of the contradictions involved in our idea of ‘home’.[4]

Claustrophobia 1998 invitation

(Invitation to ‘Claustrophobia’ (Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, U.K., 5 June 1998 [archive copy])

Fabricated Rooms was exhibited for the first time in Victoria, in 1998, first at Benalla, in April (where it was opened by Betty Churcher, former director of the National Gallery of Australia), and then at the end of the year at Tolarno, together with a major series of new 3-D works and paintings, described collectively as ‘Sampling’, arranged in a showroom setting evoking home furnishing shops and decorator sources – key reference points for the artist over many years.

In December, Arkley was announced as Australia’s chosen representative at the 48th Venice Biennale in 1999.[5]

1998 Exhibitions

Mask Auction exhibition, Distelfink Gallery, Armadale, Melbourne, 8-15 March 1998 [auction held on 19 March in support of the Jewish Museum of Melbourne]

‘Furnish’, travelling exh., Bendigo Art Gallery, 5-29 March 1998 (Gippsland Art Gallery, Sale, 29 May-28 June 1998; Hamilton Art Gallery, 15 Sept.-25 Oct.1998; Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery, 6 Nov-13 Dec.1998; Ararat Gallery, 18 Dec.1998-14 Feb.1999)


‘Howard Arkley: Fabricated Rooms’, Benalla Art Gallery 3 April 1998 – {?}

‘Claustrophobia’, Birmingham, England, Ikon Gallery touring exh., 6 June-2 Aug.1998 [curated by Claire Doherty] (then travelling to Middlesbrough, Sheffield, Dundee, Bradford, Aberystwyth & Cardiff, from 15 Aug.1998-Jan.2000) (see comments above)

‘Unhomely’, Asrtsonje Museum-Kyongju, Korea, 24 July-13 Sept.1998 (Asialink exh., cur.Jason Smith)

‘Everyday – 11th Biennale of Sydney’, AGNSW, 18 Sept.-8 Nov.1998


‘Howard Arkley: Fabricated Rooms 1997 and Sampling 1998’, Tolarno, Nov.- Dec.1998

– refer linked entry for full details

‘Cars and Culture: Our Driving Passions’, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, 10 Dec.1998-28 Feb.2000

[1] See 1998 bibliography: Auty, James, Jellie and McDonald.
[2] Carrigan 1998; Palestrant 1998; Sydney Morning Herald ‘Spring Real Estate Special’ 1998 (cover above).
[3] For further discussion of Arkley’s suburban work along these lines, see Carnival 21ff. (’Unhomes?’)
[4] The catalogue reprints extracts from Spray in relation to Arkley: see Doherty 1998: 24-26.
[5] See 1998 bibliography entries under Usher, Ingram and Coslovich (twice).