Primitive Silver 1984

Synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 105 x 105

Signed and dated [on reverse, according to Joel’s]

Coll.: unknown

This painting was auctioned in Melbourne in 1994 (black and white photo only available, as reproduced here). The imagery extrapolates from the doodled content of Primitive [mural] (1981) [W/P], Primitive Gold 1982 and Primitive Silver 1982.

This work and its gold ‘twin’ Primitive Gold (?) (1984) possibly appeared together in Arkley’s solo exhibition in Perth early in 1985 (cat.nos.6-7); however, it seems more likely that the works shown there were the two halves of the Buxton Collection diptych Primitive Gold / Primitive Silver 1981: see now ‘Howard Arkley: Urban Paintings’, Quentin Gallery, Perth, Feb.- March 1985.


  • earlier history unknown
  • auctioned by Leonard Joel, Melbourne, 23 Nov.1994, lot 783 (ill., details as shown here; est.$800-1,500; sold for $2,000 plus buyer’s premium, AASD)


  • (possibly) HA Quentin, Perth, Feb.-March 1985, but see comments above