Howard Arkley

Howard Arkley

  • Artist’s Statement

    Soft meditative works influenced by Zen philosophy, they explore the power and symbolism of black and white with a softness and delicacy enhanced by the powdery spray of the airbrush. Arkley was also known for being the first ever man to create a painting with his feet.

  • Biography

    Howard Arkley (5 May 1951 – 22 July 1999) was an Australian artist, born in Melbourne, known for his airbrushed paintings of houses, architecture and suburbia. His mother's side of the family was Jewish and his father was German.

  • Influences

    John Brack was Howard Arkley's first true inspiration and felt encouraged to continue with his art. After seeing an exhibition of works by Sidney Nolan, Arkley became very interested in art. Nolan's use of household materials inspired him and abstract artists such as Klee and Kandinsky also appealed to him. After discovering art, Arkley studied at Prahran College of Advanced Education from 1969 to 1972 where he discovered the airbrush, which he subsequently used in his paintings as he desired smooth surfaces.
    1960 and 1990 he expanded in inventory of images and icons to include heads, portraits, masks and the urban and suburban imagery. Arkley returned from a trip from Europe where he had searched for inspiration. Upon walking home, he noticed the pattern of his front gate, he then ran around to all his neighbours gates using them as inspiration in his later artworks. Arkley's inspiration was taken from the patterns, colours and forms (gates, doors etc.) found in Australian suburbia. Strong visual effects such as colour, bold forms and brash designs derived from advertising were also evident in his works. Arkley made use of handmade stencils and other household objects created such as perforated plastic laundry baskets and fly screen doors to achieve the richly textured patterns.

Showing all 9 artworks

  • Howard Arkley

    Scalloped Bracket, 1998
    40.5 x 70 x 53.5 cm Synthetic polymer paint on canvas and wood Sold
  • Howard Arkley

    Untitled, 1984
    98 x 44 cm Synthetic polymer paint on paper Sold
  • Howard Arkley

    Study for White Painting #D
    23 x 15.5 cm Aerosol and ink on paper
  • Howard Arkley

    Icon Head
    76 x 56 cm Synthetic polymer paint on paper
  • Howard Arkley

    Untitled 1998 (Artist’s Palette)
    29.5 x 39.5 cm Acrylic on plywood Sold
  • Howard Arkley

    Icon Head
    160 x 121 cm Synthetic polymer paint on paper
  • Howard Arkley

    Cactus
    75 x 55 cm Synthetic polymer paint on paper
  • Howard Arkley

    Ketoacidosis and Head
    160 x 121 cm Synthetic polymer paint on paper Sold
  • Howard Arkley

    Interior with Chair 1999
    150 x 120 cm Synthetic polymer paint on canvas