Study for Chair Tableau, Blue X 1993

Synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 120 x 90
Signed & dated (verso)
Coll.: unknown 

This painting was a gift to art writer Stephen Zagala in 1993, in recognition of his writing and research into Arkley’s work: refer Bibliography, 1993 and 1996 (under O’Connell).

The work is inscribed on the back: “For Stephen 1993 // Title Study for Chair Tableau Blue X // Date 1980-1981 // Medium Acrylic on Canvas // Howard Arkley 93.” As these details indicate, it relates to the blue (‘X’) chair in Muzak Mural Chair Tableau (1980-81) [3/M] and other studies from that time, notably Four Chairs W,V,X,T 1980 [W/P].

In my opinion, the style of the present work clearly points to its having been made in 1993, and the mention of 1980-81 in the inscription simply refers to those earlier works mentioned above. However, at its November 2021 auction this painting was listed as dating from 1980-81.


  • Coll.Stephen Zagala, Adelaide (gift from the artist, 1993): photo and other details provided in correspondence, March 2020
  • Auctioned by Deutscher and Hackett, Melb., 10 Nov.2021 (ill., details as above; as dating from 1980-81); est.$25-35,000; sold for $31,909 inc.B/P
  • Art Nomad, Melbourne
  • Present collection unknown