1994 Works


The work, initiated in 1994, extends the collaborative ambitions of Blue Chip Instant Decorator: a Room (1991-2) [3/M].


The success of this work is due in large part to Arkley’s ability to sustain the sweeping dark grey line, and areas of undifferentiated colour, on such an extensive scale.
In this work, first exhibited in 1994, the subject is given a relatively warm and colourful character.
This painting reprises elements of Suparoom (1992), but in a more highly patterned and more spatially complex form.
The main lines of the real estate source are transcribed over the reverberant, patterned surface in the manner typical of the ‘Pointillist Suburb’ series.
This elegant work, probably included in Arkley's solo exhibition at the Bellas Gallery in 1994, was recorded several times after the artist's death as 'Corner House.'
First exhibited in Arkley's ‘Pointillist Suburb’ show (Tolarno, Nov.1994).
The effect of overlapping patterning is complicated here by the use of dark grey line-work, and an unusual pattern suggestive of metal security doors or window grilles.
Widely regarded as one of Arkley’s masterpieces, this painting was first shown at Tolarno in 1994.
First shown in the Arkley exhibition at the Bellas Gallery, Brisbane, May 1994, this is an elegant example of Arkley’s sophisticated mid 1990s use of stencilling, here using an overall lace pattern.
This painting, exhibited in Brisbane and Hobart in 1994, now forms part of Icon Interior (1994-2001) [3/M].
Based on the same composition Arkley used for Hedge on Street Corner (1988) and Untitled (1988) [Hedge], this work features extensive stencilled pattern and nuanced colour.
This painting is based on the same real estate source as A Splendid Superior Home (1989) and Stucco Home (1991).
A classic example of Arkley’s use of the ‘moiré effect’ created by deliberately misaligned stencilled dot patterning.
An Arkley oddity, exhibited in the 1994 ‘Pointillist Suburb’ show, based on a lettering sample in his studio collection.
This painting, first shown in Arkley's ‘Pointillist Suburb’ exhibition, features criss-crossing line-work in various hues.
Unidentified work on canvas exhibited in Arkley’s solo show at Bellas Gallery, May 1994.
A modified variant of Model Tudor Village, Fitzroy Gardens (1986)
Cactoid composition acquired from Arkley's 1994 Brisbane exhibition.
An unusual work, not least for including a figure in an architectural setting; the dating is debateable.

Works on Paper

Unidentified work listed in Arkley's stock-book under 1994.
Purchased for Artbank from Bellas Gallery in 1994, with Demo Space 1994 [W/P].
Unidentified work on paper, probably monochrome, presumably based on the same composition as Brand New 1994.
Unidentified work on paper, exhibited in HA Tolarno 9/95.
The composition is close to that of Grace with Space 1994, using a similar lace stencil.
Unidentified work on paper shown at the Bellas Gallery in 1994.
Unidentified work on paper shown in Arkley's 1994 exhibition at Bellas Gallery.
Unidentified work on paper exhibited at both the Bellas Gallery, Brisbane, and the Dick Bett Gallery, Hobart, in 1994.
Unidentified work on paper exhibited in HA Tolarno 9/95.
Unidentified work listed under 1994 in Arkley's stock-book.
Unidentified work shown at the Bellas Gallery, Brisbane, May-June 1994.
Unidentified work shown at the Bellas Gallery, Brisbane, May-June 1994.
This work on paper was first shown at the Bellas Gallery, Brisbane, in May-June 1994.
Black and white variant of Picasso Face (1985) [W/P] and Picasso Head 1990.
Work on paper auctioned in 2001, probably identical with the work exhibited with this title in 1994.
Unidentified work shown in HA Tolarno 9/95 (‘White + Black’).
Unidentified work apparently exhibited in 1994 and 1995-6.
Exhibited at both the Bellas Gallery, Brisbane, and the Dick Bett Gallery, Hobart, in 1994.
Unidentified work listed under 1994 in Arkley's stock-book.
Cactoid composition exhibited at the Dick Bett Gallery, Hobart, in 1994.
Unidentified work on paper, exhibited in both Brisbane and Hobart in 1994.
Unidentified work on paper listed in Arkley's stock-book under 1994.
Exhibited at Bellas Gallery, Brisbane, in 1994.
Sotheby's Sept.94 auction invit'n
1994 was a year of high productivity for Arkley, and also notable stylistic development, apparent particularly in the ‘Pointillist Suburb’ show at Tolarno in November, where he applied stencilled pattern and colour to the suburban exterior with new subtlety and finesse. This show also introduced a new theme, the freeway, in two large canvases. For more extended comments on the key thematic and stylistic developments apparent in these works, see linked exhibition entry.
Other exhibitions included a solo show of black and white works at the Bellas Gallery in Brisbane.Arkley’s reputation as the contemporary painter of suburbia grew significantly during the year. Family Home: Suburban Exterior (1993) was shown in the McCaughey Prize at the NGV in Feb.-March, and then later in the year at Monash University, as one of the university’s major new acquisitions. Arkley himself participated in the growth of his profile as a chronicler of suburbia during the year, in prominent coverage in World Art, Polis, and the Melbourne Age (see bibliography for 1994 under Arkley, Crawford, and Harford respectively).O.Y.O. Flats (1987) featured on the invitation (reproduced here) and catalogue cover for the Sotheby’s auction in September; its sale attracted considerable media coverage (see e.g.Trioli 1994).
During the year, he embarked on two significant collaborative ventures with long-standing colleagues Juan Davila and Peter Tyndall. Icon Interior (1994-2001) [3/M], produced with Juan Davila, elaborated on their earlier cooperation on Blue Chip Instant Decorator: a Room (1991-2) [3/M] and various works on paper also made in 1991-2 (see above). The new project centred on a black and white canvas version of Arkley’s earlier Icon Head (1990), which Arkley gave to Davila with the instruction to ‘ruin’ it (see Gregory 2001, and Carnival 153-57). Left incomplete in 1994, this project was resumed by Davila after Arkley’s death, with the cooperation of Alison Burton (see main entry on this work, first exhibited in Canberra in 2002, and then in the Davila survey show held in 2006 in Sydney and Melbourne).
Later in 1994, Arkley began discussions with another fellow artist and friend of long standing, Peter Tyndall, about a collaborative scheme to be shown at Anna Schwartz’s Melbourne gallery in 1995. The project was to involve one or more canvases depicting one of Tyndall’s trademark 1950s-style families peering at an Arkley house.[1] Correspondence from Nov.1994 – Sept.1995, necessitated by their geographical separation (Tyndall lives in country Victoria), reveals the eventual breakdown of this project due to the incompatibility of the two artists’ working methods and personalities (see material in Arkley’s files, discussed in more detail in Carnival 139-40). The correspondence includes several preparatory sketches incorporating a reproduction of Arkley’s Light and Bright (1994). Terminating the arrangement in Sept.1995, Tyndall wrote that it was better to ‘ditch the project and save the friendship’; Arkley agreed, but was privately very taken aback by the whole incident. A photograph of an unfinished canvas from this project is preserved in Arkley’s archive.

1994 Exhibitions

‘Baillieu Myer Collection of the 80s’, MOMA at Heide, Feb.1994 [clipping in artist’s files]

‘John McCaughey Memorial Art Prize’, NGV, 3 Feb.-19 March 1994 (check-list in Arkley’s files)


‘Howard Arkley’, Bellas, Brisbane, May- June 1994

– refer linked entry for full details

‘Love & Ruin: Art & St Kilda in the Twentieth Century’, St Kilda Town Hall, 26 June-21 July 1994

– {unidentified Arkley work/s}

‘Beyond the Surface’, Dick Bett Gallery, Hobart, Tasmania, 4-23 Aug.1994 (group show including a canvas and 6 works on paper by Arkley; copy of catalogue in artist’s files)

ACAF4: Fourth Australian Contemporary Art Fair, Exhibition Buildings, Melbourne, 29 Sept.-2 Oct.1994 (catalogue in Arkley’s files)


‘Howard Arkley: The Pointillist Suburb series’, Tolarno, Nov.- Dec. 1994

– refer linked entry for full details

‘Tableaux: Works from the Monash University Collection’, Monash University Gallery, 7 Nov.-1994-2 Feb.1995 (copies of catalogue/brochure & Age report in Arkley’s files)


[1] For a survey of Tyndall’s work, typically titled A Person Looks At A Work Of Art / someone looks at something…, see Pamela Hansford, Peter Tyndall – Dagger Definitions, Richmond: Greenhouse, 1987.