Charles Arnoldi | American, born 1946
Claiming, “I’m just trying to make art with some sense of dignity, and honesty, and integrity,” Charles Arnoldi has been blurring the boundaries between painting and sculpture, abstraction and representation throughout his long and celebrated career. He started showing his work in the 1970s, consisting of compositions crafted from sticks he would gather from orchards and woods. Whether affixed to the canvas in thick clusters or structured into geometric, openwork wall hangings and sculptures, the sticks both resemble and inform the vigorously painted lines that appear in his later paintings. From sticks, he moved on to pigmented plywood, glued together into thickly layered sheets, which he would shape and mark with a chainsaw. In his more traditional, acrylic-on-canvas paintings, Arnoldi translates nature and architecture into abstract compositions that hint at their source imagery, including windows, Hawaiian flora, and purple potatoes.