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Charles Arnoldi

Master of Ceremony

Charles Arnoldi is a multi-disciplinary artist whose varied body of work includes traditional oil paintings on canvas, bronze sculpture, monoprints, lithographs, “chainsaw paintings,” aluminum paintings, and polyethylene wall reliefs. Nurtured in Los Angeles’ burgeoning art scene in the late 1960s, Charles Arnoldi started his art career in Downtown Los Angeles and would move to Venice Beach alongside experimental Light and Space artists like Peter Alexander and Billy Al Bengston. During his early career, Arnoldi garnered notoriety for his abstracted compositions crafted from sticks gathered from orchards, ranches, and woods. His artistic expression would eventually expand working with non-traditional materials like tree branches and chainsaws.

Charles Arnoldi: Master of Ceremony is a visual collection of Arnoldi’s metamorphosis throughout his five-decades-long career. His experimentation with line, shape, and color was first realized through his “stick paintings” that utilized tree branches to create lines in space. In Charles Arnoldi: Master of Ceremony, his breakthrough would naturally evolve from his Light and Space colleagues into the use of more organic materials like wood. For Arnoldi, this evolution is a part of his artistic process, saying, “In abstract painting an artist invents a problem and solves it.”

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