An exhibition of new work by Charles Arnoldi, Case Study, will open at Charlotte Jackson Fine Art on July 27 and extend through August 27.
An Opening Reception with the artist will be held on Friday, July 27 from 5-7 p.m. The gallery is located in the Railyard Arts District at 554 South Guadalupe Street.
You might want to walk into one of them – touch a black line, slide your hand down a plane of Ultramarine blue, duck your head under a beam of Payne’s gray. The deeper you move into a piece from Arnoldi’s Case Study series, the more you may have to contort and bend within its intricate and interlocking structures. These paintings defy two-dimensionality, teasing out a sense of space, not through use of the tricks of perspective, but through their complex layers of geometric form. The tightly controlled and balanced palette of blues, whites, grays, with some rare hints of sienna, successfully suggests space and depth, but perhaps more importantly is utterly satisfying to the eye.
With their layered interaction of planes and lines, it isn’t difficult to make a link between these works and architecture. But the titling of the exhibition for the Post World War II program of Case Study homes sponsored by Arts & Architecture magazine is more a case of synchronicity than of conscious planning. Arnoldi didn’t set out to create a series inspired by the Case Study homes, the connection came after the fact when he’d completed a number of the larger canvases and was thinking of what to title them. Having just visited a Case Study home in Los Angeles, his admiration of its clean lines and use of glass were still fresh in his mind and he decided to name the new pieces after Case Study architects.
And yet, coincidence or not, a deeper study of these pieces can lead to some very interesting comparisons. The lines of the Case Study houses are clean and the structures are full of intersecting geometric planes: walkways, connecting patios, cantilevered structures, flat roofs, deep flat overhangs. Arnoldi’s paintings not only capture the structural dynamics of this architecture, but their palette is suggestive of their materials: glass, steel, stucco.
The one thing you always know you will get when you go to an exhibition of work by Charles Arnoldi is authenticity. He doesn’t stand still—and that is what makes Arnoldi’s art continually fresh. Though the visual vocabulary may change from series to series, a student of Arnoldi’s art will begin to see the underlying patterns, the continuity from piece to piece that expresses so much of Arnoldi’s passions, obsessions, and curiosity. Though the works in this exhibition are in some ways an organic evolution or hybrid of his recent series Grids and Windows, as well as his interest
in Mondrian and respect for Diebenkorn, subconsciously his passion for architecture was at play as well. One of the things that fascinates Arnoldi most in construction is the “framing” stage, before the walls are done. In a painting like Nuetra, for example, you can almost imagine standing in the framed skeleton of a building, so that you are able to see several rooms simultaneously with their patterns and intersecting planes.
In Charles Arnoldi’s latest exhibition, Case Study, structure is key. Though these paintings, with their constraint and geometry, appear clean and deceptively simple, there is a complication that arises as the viewer sinks deeper into the overlapping layers of lines and planes, studies the way they fracture at the canvas edges. The paintings in Case Study, with masterful architectural technique, balance tight precision with defiant complexity.