1991 Works


This collaborative work, first shown at Tolarno in July 1991, involves an unusually tense, even apparently antagonistic approach to artistic collaboration.
Auctioned in 2009 as an unfinished work.
Modified ‘Zappo Head’, discussed in Carnival in relation to Arkley’s unrealised plan c.1989-90 to develop a ‘relief’ exhibition.


This double-sided work is a rare example of collaboration between the two artists, who had known each other since art school days.
Documented as purchased from Tolarno, this painting is unusually vivid for 1991.
Apparently originally intended for Arkley's 'Head Show' at Tolarno (Oct.-Nov.1990)
Arkley’s file slide is the sole source for this work.
This work, recorded in a studio photo dated 1991, is closely related to a collaged 'working drawing' of the same subject.
Whereas Arkley often suggests a heroic dimension to the suburbs, here he reveals their drab, arid side.
This painting, not recorded in Arkley’s files, was donated to the MCA in 1995 as part of the Smorgon Collection.

Works on Paper

Impressions of this hand-coloured screenprint were first produced in 1991, at the time of Arkley’s Monash survey exhibition.
Birthday gift to the owner in 1991
Based on two separate reproductions of Shadow Factories (1988).
One of several smaller collaborative works made by the two artists in the early 1990s.
An experimental screenprint variant featuring woodgrain patterning

Works on Paper Minor

None noted (but see also Visual Diaries D 31 & 32).
Arkley & Bruce Harrison 1991
During the year, Arkley turned 40, moved to Oakleigh with Alison Burton, and set up his studio in the garage of their suburban villa unit. He was occupied for most of the year with completing Blue Chip Instant Decorator, his large-scale collaboration with Juan Davila (unveiled at Tolarno in July), and with preparations for the major survey exhibition of his work at Monash University, which opened in October.Typical photos from 1991 show him wearing a pink skull-and-crossbones shirt (see e.g. Carnival Figs.4.1 and 6.1, and the photo reproduced here, showing him with collector Bruce Harrison and one of the incomplete canvases from Blue Chip).

1991 Exhibitions

‘Off the Wall/In the Air: A Seventies Selection’, Monash University Gallery, 3 July – 10 Aug.1991, & ACCA, 28 June – 4 Aug.1991 (guest curator: Jennifer Phipps):


‘Neighbours’, Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Parkside, S.A., 3-26 May 1991 (cur. David O’Halloran; other artists inc.Elizabeth Gower):


‘The Total Look: Locating Furniture’, Plimsoll Gallery, Centre for the Arts, Hobart, Tasmania, 16 Aug.-13 Sept.1991 [cur.Paul Zika; part copy of catalogue in Arkley’s files; other artists inc. Fred Cress, Deborah Halpern etc.]:

‘“Blue Chip Instant Decorator” – a Room by Howard Arkley and Juan Davila’, Tolarno, July-Aug. 1991 [invitation in Arkley’s files; shown with ‘Transpositions’ by Julie Brown-Rrap (in main gallery)]

‘National Australia Bank Collection: Rivers in Australian Art’, Museum of Modern Art at Heide, 1991 [copy of catalogue in State Library of Victoria]


‘HA: Howard Arkley’, Monash University Gallery, 18 Oct.-30 Nov.1991

– refer linked entry for full details