Arkley and his art continued to feature in the press. His Nick Cave (1999) was included in an Age magazine, produced as part of a series in honour of the 150th anniversary of the Melbourne newspaper, on ‘Influential Lives’, celebrating both Cave and Arkley.
In March, a feature in the Melbourne Herald Sun – ‘We reveal Australia’s most important painting’ – included Arkley’s Psychedelic Head (1990) among the short list of 12 (the winner was declared to be Drysdale’s Cricketers [1948]); the judges included Brian Kino, director of the Metro 5 gallery. Later in 2004, the Herald Sun aired Arkley’s mother’s alleged grounds for complaint against Alison Burton and the administration of the Arkley Estate.[1]
Several key examples of Arkley’s earlier work came up for auction, notably Organic Model G (Black Square) [Coventry]1976, originally shown in Arkey’s first solo exhibition in Sydney in May 1977, and subsequently owned by Chandler Coventry (Lawson-Menzies auction of the Coventry Estate, 30 March 2004). Winds of War Graffiti 1983, first shown (as ‘Billboard’) in Arkley’s ‘Urban Paintings’ show at Tolarno, Oct.-Nov.1983, was auctioned by Sotheby’s, Melbourne, 29 Nov.2004. Several works of lesser quality and with inadequate provenance also surfaced at auctions held during 2004.[2]

2004 Exhibitions

‘Satellite Cities and Tabloid Life’, MUMA (Monash University Museum of Art), 26 May-3 July 2004 (curator: Charlotte Hallows; exh.cat., Hallows 2004)

‘Gardenesque: Cultivating the Garden State’, Keith Murdoch Gallery, State Library of Victoria,  Oct.2004-Feb.2005 (curator: Richard Aitken)

‘A Sense of Place’, TarraWarra Museum of Art, Yarra Valley, Vic., 7 Nov.2004 – 22 May 2005

[1] See Gill 2004
[2] A systematic account of Arkley’s auction history is in preparation by the author