Charles Arnoldi

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Charles Arnoldi
'Roark', bronze sculpture by --Charles Arnoldi--, 1984, --The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu--.jpg
Charles Arnoldi, Roark,
bronze sculpture, 1984, Honolulu Museum of Art
Born (1946-04-10) April 10, 1946 (age 69)
Dayton, Ohio
Nationality American
Known for Painting, Sculpture, Printmaking

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 Ventura 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.

He played himself in the 2005 film, Sketches of Frank Gehry, directed by Sydney Pollack. Arnoldi lives and works in Los Angeles.

The Ackland Art Museum (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina), the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, New York), the Art Institute of Chicago, the Berkeley Art Museum (University of California, Berkeley, California), the Denver Art Museum (Denver, Colorado), Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (Bilbao, Spain), the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art (Kansas City, Missouri), Laumeier Sculpture Park (St. Louis, Missouri), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, California), the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art (Memphis, Tennessee), the Menil Collection (Houston, Texas), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City), the Milwaukee Art Museum (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago, Illinois), the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Texas), the Museum of Modern Art (New York City), the National Gallery of Australia (Sydney, Australia), the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City, Missouri), The Newark Museum (Newark, New Jersey), the Norton Simon Museum (Pasadena, California) and the Orange County Museum of Art (Newport Beach, California) are among the public collections holding works by Charles Arnoldi. In 2011, Arnoldi began exhibiting at Rosamund Felsen Gallery.[1][2]


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  • Butterfield, Jan, Charles Arnoldi, Laddie John Dill, Fullerton, California, The Gallery, 1983.
  • Gehry, Frank O., Charles Arnoldi, New York, Charles Cowles Gallery, 1994.
  • Honolulu Museum of Art, Spalding House Self-guided Tour, Sculpture Garden, 2014, p. 10