Abstract Painting in Dark Blue and Ochre (1991-3) [Howard Arkley & John Nixon]

Enamel and synthetic polymer paint on masonite and canvas, 183 x 122
Courtesy of John Nixon, Anna Schwartz Gallery and Kalli Rolfe Contemporary Art

This double-sided work was first exhibited in Nixon’s show of collaborative works at the Anna Schwartz Gallery early in 1999. It juxtaposes characteristic images by each artist, in Arkley’s case a ‘paisley’ pattern comparable with several of his later 1970s canvases, although here in the same muted tones as Nixon’s trademark cross (for further discussion, see Carnival 139).

This is a rare instance of a completed collaboration between the two artists, who had known each other since art school days. For an early example, see Table Lamp (1980-81) [3/M], and for further comments on Arkley and Nixon’s collaborative relationship, see Fitzpatrick & Lynn (2015).


  • The artists


  • Anna Schwartz, Melb., March-April 1999 (‘John Nixon: collaborative works’): details as above
  • Anna Schwartz, Melb., 11 July-24 August 2013 (‘John Nixon: EPW’)
  • HA TarraWarra 12/15-2/16 (details as above; ill.)


  • Carnival 139 and Fig.5.2 (digital photos courtesy Anna Schwartz)
  • Fitzpatrick & Lynn, Howard Arkley and Friends (2015), 45-48 (Victoria Lynn)