CHARLES ARNOLDI

09.75-Fate, acrylic on canvas, 102x79cm, 2009

 

Charles Arnoldi, also known as Chuck Arnoldi and as Charles Arthur Arnoldi is an American painter, sculptor and printmaker. He was born April 10, 1946 in Dayton, Ohio.

While visiting a girlfriend’s grandmother in New York, he took the opportunity to view works by Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. Observing their smudges, smears, and imperfections, he sensed that he too was capable of such work, and decided to attend art school. Arnoldi attended junior college in Ventura, California, where a professor convinced him to apply to the Art Center in Los Angeles. He was accepted with a scholarship, and enrolled in commercial illustration classes. It was the late 1960s, and Arnoldi recalls a stifling classroom environment where male students were required to wear ties. After only two weeks, he left and transferred to the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles in 1968, where he remained for eight months before deciding to abandon his formal education and complete his training through his art practice. Arnoldi began using actual tree branches as a compositional element in his works, combined with painting to create stick constructions. These works did not endeavor to create illusions but rather inhabited physical space.

In the early 1970s, the artist attracted attention for his wall-relief wood sculptures, holding his first solo exhibition at the Riko Mizuno Gallery in Los Angeles in 1971. The following year he was included in Documenta V, Kassel, Germany, 1972. The use of wood has remained a feature of Arnoldi's oeuvre, although since the 1980s he has often employed it in combination with other media. Roark, in the collection of the Honolulu Museum of Art, is a bronze sculpture that closely resembles wood.