oil on canvas
62 x 54 inches
CA 41


Charles Arnoldi, one of the leading contemporary abstract painters, sculptors and printmakers of his generation, is internationally recognized as an accomplished colorist, capturing a light and color palette, particular to the West Coast. He came out of the booming 1970s Los Angeles art scene.

Arnoldi’s early artistic experiments of the 1960s and 70s are defined by his layered three-dimensional constructions of tree twigs and acrylic paint. These works, placed flat against a canvas or standing alone as sculptural objects, appear at times complex and chaotic, at other moments simple and delicate, reflecting an expressive approach to the concurrent stream of Minimalism. His naturalistic medium of twigs and wood carried into his work in the 1980s, where cross-hatched patterns of painted groupings of twigs created their own internal structures upon a seemingly two-dimensional canvas. As the 1980s turned into the 90s, and further into the 2000s, Arnoldi’s three-dimensional sculptures evolved into the two- dimensional plane of organic abstract painting.

In the 2000s, Arnoldi focused his artistic expressions on painted grids made with asymmetrical abstract patterns and bright colors, with Grids (2006-2010) and Windows (2007-2010) directly referencing the “digital” grid-style works of Ellsworth Kelly, while Medals (2005-2010) and Arcs (2007-2010) displayed Frank Stella’s 1960s wall sculpture style painting with a gritty, unpolished asymmetry. Arnoldi’s most recent works of the past few years have been inspired by the precise patterns of the stone walls at Machu Picchu. While each body of work differs visually from its predecessor, it is also easy to see how one body of work evolves into the next.

Born in Dayton, Ohio in 1946, Arnoldi left the Midwest shortly after high school and headed to California where he attended three art schools, including Art Center and the famous Chouinard, before leaving formal education altogether in 1968. He currently lives in Malibu, CA. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Metropolitan and the Smithsonian are among the many institutions holding Arnoldi’s work in their collections. Arnoldi has been exhibited at numerous museums and galleries including The Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others.