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Charles Arnoldi: 1972-2008


Published by Radius Books, Charles Arnoldi is a new monograph that chronicles his work.. Unlike many art books on the market, it informs as well as entertains. It’s a weighty tome, but it’s visually beautiful and a delightful read, containing a foreword by Frank Gehry, a witty essay by art critic Dave Hickey, and conversations between Arnoldi, Charlotte Jackson (whom Arnoldi credits with the idea for the book), Michael Zakian
(director of the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University), art dealer Fred Hoffman, and Gregory Amenoff (visual arts chair of the Columbia University School of the Arts).

Printed on first-rate stock, the book contains 160 color plates selected from roughly 4,500 works, taking readers along on a creative journey that includes organic, hippie-style assemblages of wooden sticks—some burned, others painted, others joined at various angles like the lead lines of stained glass windows—to neo-abstract expressionist paintings and linear assemblages of shaped canvases framing empty spaces that Arnoldi calls “window paintings.”

Hickey writes that Arnoldi, whom he calls “the kid,” is a refugee from the flat banality of the Midwest who came to Los Angeles, along with Ed Ruscha, Joe Goode and Billy Al Bengston, to be a commercial artist but fell among evil companions. A good move, one might say.


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