Large House etc at Heide 2001

(photo: installation shot of the Buxton Collection exhibition at Heide, Nov.2001-Feb.2002, showing, from left, Arkley & Davila’s Interior with Built-in Bar (1992), and Arkley’s Embossed BracketLacquered BracketOrmulu Bracket (all 1998), and A Large House and Garden (1997) [photo: Heide])

Auction interest in Arkley cooled significantly in 2001, in the framework of a generally quieter art market. In fact, neither Deutscher-Menzies, Melbourne, 9-10 May, nor Christie’s Contemporary, Sydney, 26 August, offered any Arkleys at all. However, a number of works by or attributed to him were included in dealer shows: see Gould and Metro 5, as detailed below under exhibitions.

The Buxton Collection exhibition at Heide included a substantial group of Arkleys assembled over the previous few years (the collection was initiated in 1996), alongside works by many of his peers and younger contemporaries, including Tony Clark, Juan Davila and Peter Tyndall. The major Arkley in this collection, A Large House and Garden (1997), is a key example of the softer, subtler character of his late suburban style (see Heide installation photo reproduced here).

Arkley houses featured in major exhibitions marking the centenary of Australian Federation. House and Garden Western Suburbs, Melbourne 1988 was included in ‘Federation’, shown at the NGA from Dec.2000 to Feb.2001 (for details, see under 2000), and then at MOMA at Heide (17 March-13 May) and various other Australian galleries in 2001-2. And Family Home: Suburban Exterior (1993) was borrowed from Monash University for the Federation exhibition ‘Common Wealth’, shown at the NGV’s temporary premises at the State Library of Victoria from April to December 2001.

Nick Cave (1999) was again prominent: in a substantial profile of the National Portrait Gallery collection in the ‘Federation’ issue of Art & Australia (March-May 2001: Gaston 2001, esp. pp.412-13), and in a major show at the NPG at the end of the year (‘So You Wanna Be a Rock Star’).

Craftsman House issued a revised edition of Crawford & Edgar’s Spray, with a new final chapter addressing Arkley’s later years and his death, and updated exhibition and bibliographic details.

Other publications included a significant study of the newly-completed collaborative installation by Arkley and Juan Davila, Icon Interior (1994-2001) [3/M]. The catalogue included an extended catalogue essay on the relationship of the work to Blue Chip Instant Decorator: a Room (1991-2) [3/M], the iconoclastic character of the new installation, and the way in which it acted, whether intentionally or not, as a memorial to Arkley (see now Gregory, Icon Interior, 2001).

2001 Exhibitions

Gould Galleries, Sydney, 14 Feb.-18 March 2001 (‘Modern Australian Art: A Collectors Exhibition’)

  • cat.20: Residence with Gate 1999 [aka House with Gate] (sd+t; provenance given as P/C, USA); 1st exh.in HA exh.at Karyn Lovegrove (as ‘House with Gate’)

‘Federation’ –
touring, inc.MOMA at Heide, 17 March-13 May 2001

– for details, see under 2000

‘Art > Music: Rock, Pop, Techno’, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 21 March – 24 June 2001

Metro 5, Melbourne, opening group exhibition, 28 March-6 May 2001 (catalogue and price-list in Arkley files)

‘Common Wealth: a Tribute to Federation’, NGV, 10 April – 2 Dec.2001

‘Howard Arkley’, Gould Contemporary, Melbourne, 12 Aug.-2 Sept. 2001

A large group of works by or attributed to Arkley was shown, including a number of coloured photocopies and other minor works on paper (check-list and brochure with some reproductions on file). Works listed in the present catalogue were as follows:

‘A Person Looks at a Work of Art: the Michael Buxton Contemporary Australian Art Collection’, MOMA at Heide, 24 Nov.2001-17 Feb.2002 [catalogue on file; all works illustrated and catalogued as follows]

  • Primitive Gold / Primitive Silver 1981 (sd+t verso); as noted in the catalogue entry, this two-part work, possibly exhibited in Arkley’s ‘Urban Paintings’ show at the Quentin Gallery, Perth, in Feb-March 1985 (cat.nos.6-7), was auctioned by Sotheby’s, Melbourne, 28 Nov.1995, and subsequently exhibited at Gould Galleries (Feb.-March 2000)
  • Embossed Bracket (1998) [3/M]: first shown in Arkley’s ‘Sampling’ exhibition, Tolarno, Nov.-Dec.1998, cat.14
  • Lacquered Bracket 1998 [3/M]: first exh.in ‘Sampling’, Tolarno, Nov.-Dec.1998, cat.18
  • Ormulu Bracket 1998 [3/M]: first exh.in ‘Sampling’, Tolarno, Nov.-Dec.1998, cat.15
  • Supa Interior (1999): first exh.in Arkley’s ‘Home Show’, Karyn Lovegrove Gallery, Los Angeles, July-Aug.1999, as ‘Deluxe Space’
  • Freeway Exit (1999): also first exh.in Los Angeles, July-Aug. 1999 [however NB the photo reproduced in the Heide catalogue shows a different freeway, not included in the present catalogue]
  • A Large House and Garden 1997: apparently first shown in the ‘Spray’ exh. at Tolarno, Nov.-Dec.1997 (press reports include reproductions of this work)
  • Arkley & Davila: Interior with Built-in Bar (1992) [W/P] (silkscreen, ed. of 6)

‘So You Wanna Be a Rock Star: Portraits and Rock Music in Australia’, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, 14 Dec.2001-17 Feb.2002

  • Nick Cave (1999)
  • Study for Nick Cave (double sided drawing) (1999) [W/P]
  • also 7 working drawings for Nick Cave 1999: photocopies with added colour and detail in fibre-tipped pen; various sizes (in Arkley archive): not catalogued here
  • 3 untitled ‘Head Studies’ 1999 (SPP and fibre-tipped pen on magazine clippings, photographs; various sizes (in Arkley archive): not catalogued here
  • photocopies of two pages of head sources from D20: see under Visual Diaries