San Francisco

Charles Arnoldi

Fuller Goldeen Gallery

Charles Arnoldi engages in “wood play,” as filled with double entendres as it is with sticks, chunks, and panels of wood. The au naturel branches act as asynecdoche for nature itself. Yet the tumble of dark sticks across the surface also suggests the turbulence of heavy brush-strokes, epitomizing the action painting of postwar culture. Updated via mixed media constructions, this Los Angeles artist’s reliefs and sculptures could be considered the West Coast’s answer to New York School painterly abstraction of the ’50s, with actual branches substituting for branched brush-strokes. But the ephemerality of this provincial gesture in Arnoldi’s works wore off years ago; the more significant gestures now evince a greater ideational quotient.

Arnoldi emphasizes the dual identity of the sticks by direct juxtaposition; in Veil, 1985, the spill of sticks partially obscures the underlying polychrome

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