Scalloped Bracket, 1998 - Howard Arkley

September 8, 2020

Howard Arkley

Scalloped Bracket, 1998

40.5 x 70 x 53.5 cmSynthetic polymer paint on canvas and woodSigned, and dated verso: 'Howard Arkley. 98. S.B' titled, dated and signed on the side: 'Scalloped Bracket / 1998 / Howard Arkley.' Provenance: Private collection, Melbourne Kalli Rolfe Contemporary, Melbourne. Private collection, Melbourne Deutscher and Hackett, Melbourne, 27 August 2008, lot 83 (set of three) Art Nomad, Melbourne. Private collection, New South Wales. Exhibited: Howard Arkley: Fabricated Rooms 1997 and Sampling 1998, Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne, 28 November - 24 December 1998, cat. 17. Literature: John Gregory, Carnival in Suburbia, The Art of Howard Arkley, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 2006, p. 78 (illus. in situ) In his book, Carnival in Suburbia: The Art of Howard Arkley, John Gregory discusses the exhibition 'Sampling' in which the present work was included; 'Arkley teased the viewer here by narrowing the gap between commerce and art – or at least by drawing attention to this contemporary phenomenon (in consumer culture, nothing is exempt from the dictates of commercialism and advertising). His carefully constructed display stands and trestles echo real-world examples; his source material for this show included photographs taken in various retail settings near his Oakleigh home. He also insisted that his stands and cases should 'work', serving to display a changing selection of patterns and samples, in the form of small decorative canvases, thus accentuating the idea of the show as a simulacrum of the retail ritual. Pattern plays an even more sophisticated role in 'Sampling', and the related works that followed in 1999, than in any of Arkley's previous art. The layers of stencilled pattern weave an intricate, faintly exotic web across the surfaces of these works, countermanding the crass commercial semiotics of the show with a delicious serve of delicacy and elegance...'