Music, Visual Arts

Playlist: Howard Arkley (and friends)

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TarraWarra Museum of Art, an hour outside Melbourne, today opens a major exhibition of works by Howard Arkley (1951-1999) and includes 60 works from 1974 until 1999. Known for his pschyedelic images of suburbia, abstraction, pattern and colour, music was a huge influence on his work.
The show, Howard Arkley (and Friends), running until February 28, reveals the minimalist music, punk, new wave and electronic music that influenced him. A selection of tracks from his own record collection are played throughout the exhibition, including pieces by The Birthday Party, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Cramps, Billie Holiday, Iggy Pop, Charles Mingus, Kraftwerk, Erik Satie, Talking Heads and Tom Waits
Co-curator of the show, Anthony Fitzpatrick, compiled an exhaustive playlist from Howard Arkley’s original record collection from State Library of Victoria archives and his consultations with the ‘friends’ who include fellow artists Alison Burton, Tony Clark, Aleks Danko, Juan Davila, Elizabeth Gower, Christine Johnson, Geoff Lowe, Callum Morton, John Nixon, Kathy Temin, Peter Tyndall, Jenny Watson and Constanze Zikos.

In the catalogue essay for Howard Arkley (and friends…) by Chris McAuliffe, Raw power meets electronic music sounds: Howard Arkley and popular music, he writes:
“The seventies were Arkley’s formative decade; the period of his art school education, his first exhibitions and international travel. The decade was also one of remarkable fertility and upheaval in popular music. The rock underground of the sixties consolidated into an international, stadium-scale industry. Myriad hybrids, subgenres and subcultural offshoots emerged; glam, rock’n’roll revivalism, jazz fusion, disco, electronica, punk and new wave. In Melbourne, popular music was integral to young lives; top 40 AM radio segued into newly-introduced independent FM stations, TV pop shows into sophisticated music videos, town hall dances into an extensive pub rock network.”
Here are a few selections of his musical influences:
Charles Mingus’ Work Song

The Saints’ Know Your Product

Talking Heads’ Houses in Motion 

Kraftwerk’s Metropolis 

[box]Main Image: Howard Arkley’s Family Home- Suburban Exterior [/box]

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