Untitled [Polaroid Portrait collage study] (1997?) [W/P]

Collage on paper; 25.5 x 17.5; signed and dated [l.l.: ‘Howard Arkley 17.2.97’ (over cancelled 96?); l.r.: ‘for Shirley xx’]

Coll.: unknown

This collaged work, not recorded prior to the artist’s death, has appeared at auction several times since. It is obviously clearly related to the ‘Head Show’ painting Polaroid Portrait (1990), and could have been made around the same time as the canvas, despite the inscribed date/s on the present work.

The inscription is curious, as the work is not known to Arkley’s sister in law, Shirley, nor is the date relevant to her. (Perhaps another Shirley was the recipient?!)


  • auctioned by Christie’s, Sydney, 27-28 Nov.2000 (lot 249: as ‘Untitled’; details as above; ill.; sold for $3,525)
  • auctioned by Christie’s, Melb., 3-4 May 2004, lot 318 (details as above; ill.; est.$6-8,000; not sold)
  • auctioned by Christie’s, Melb., 22 Nov.2005, lot 231 (est.$2-4,000; not sold)