Howard Arkley

1951 - 1999 Houseomorphics 1996
  • acrylic on canvas
153 cm x 203 cm

Howard Arkley's airbrushed works take on a surreal quality as he presents familiar imagery, textures and patterns in unusual contexts.

Arkley noted that most Australians' interaction with their country and the landscape is through the suburban experience. Australians tend to live in cities and travel home from work to their suburb. In this sense, his 'suburbanscapes' are really landscapes.

In Houseomorphics, Arkley depicts a regular Australian suburban home, but uses the patterns usually found indoors - on curtains, carpets and upholstery - to define the exterior, thus exposing the internal spaces we occupy.

This work featured in Arkley's career-defining exhibition The Home Show, representing Australia at the 48th Venice Biennale in 1999. Arkley died shortly after returning to Melbourne from Venice where his work received critical and popular claim.

In the years following his death, Arkley's art has continued to gain acclaim and he is considered one of Australia's foremost contemporary painters of the suburban landscape.






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The Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Custodians of Country and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

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