In April, a large group of some 200 early ‘white’ works on paper was added to Arkley Works (for details, see A-Z Index). These works, not originally included in the catalogue (due to incomplete documentation), significantly extend understanding of Arkley’s early maturity, revealing the wealth of ideas brewing in the young artist’s mind in this formative phase of his career. Given that the bulk of these works appear under 1974 (via the approximate dating c.1974-76), a separate catalogue is included as an Appendix: ‘White’ works on paper (c.1974-78), listing the works systematically (by size and formal characteristics) rather than simply chronologically and alphabetically.

May saw the publication of a new book by Katrina Strickland, addressing the complexities involved in various Australian artists’ estates following their deaths, especially in relation to surviving partners’ management of both extant work and posthumous reputation (Affairs of the Art, 2013). In the chapter on Arkley, Strickland emphasizes Alison Burton’s stand on issues relating to copyright and the provenance of works attributed to Arkley after his death. Strickland’s book, which was also excerpted in several major newspapers, received considerable publicity at the time, and she also spoke on it at a number of events, including the 2013 Sydney Writer’s Festival.

Arkley’s late canvas Superb + Solid (1998) was included in the major survey exhibition of Australian art held at London’s Royal Academy (Sept.-Dec.2013). The biographical details published in the catalogue (Keneally & others, 2013, p.290), indicated that the artist was “born of a Jewish mother and a German father”, an unsubstantiated claim apparently derived from Wikipedia.

Late in the year, a significant commercial show of Arkley’s work was staged at Robert Gould’s South Yarra gallery.

2013 Exhibitions

‘Mix Tape 1980s: Appropriation, Subculture, Critical Style’, The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square, 11 April-1 Sept.2013:

‘Trams: Moving Pictures’, Old Treasury Building Museum, Melbourne, July – 1 November 2013:

Documentation of various examples from 1979-92, including Arkley’s Tram no.384 1980 [3/M]. Shown in conjunction with a new series of 8 artists’ trams commissioned from Brook Andrew and others, running on Melbourne’s tram network from October 2013 to April 2014.

‘Australia’, Royal Academy, London, 21 Sept.-8 Dec.2013:

‘Howard Arkley’, Gould Contemporary, South Yarra, Melbourne, 14 November – 14 December 2013 

The first major commercial show of Arkley’s work in some years, this exhibition included the following key works listed in the present catalogue: