Charles Arnoldi | Four Decades

Charles Arnoldi, Firepower, 2016. Oil on linen canvas, 84 × 72 in., Collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation

Watch Curator Bruce Guenther’s Walkthrough of the exhibition HERE.


USC Fisher Museum of Art proudly presents Charles Arnoldi | Four Decades, a survey of the versatile and prolific Venice Beach artist, which traces the evolution of the artist’s expansive and materials-focused practice from the 1970s to the present.

USC Fisher Museum of Art proudly announces Charles Arnoldi | Four Decades from the Collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation, a survey of Venice Beach artist Charles (Chuck) Arnoldi. The exhibition, organized by the USC Fisher Museum of Art with the generous support of the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation and curated by Bruce Guenther, author of Charles Arnoldi: Paper (2017), opens January 21, 2020 and runs through April 4, 2020.

Charles Arnoldi was a young man from Dayton, Ohio who had seen little of the world when he arrived in Southern California in the mid 1960s. Following stints at a local community college and Chouinard Art Institute, Arnoldi won LACMA’s New or Young Talent Award in 1969 and thus began his ever-evolving career which continues to this day in his sprawling Venice studio.

For close to 50 years, Arnoldi’s work has reflected a passion for the material world, a commitment to experimentation, and a tireless focus on studio production. Charles Arnoldi | Four Decades is drawn from the holdings of the collector Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation.

One of the Venice Beach artists, captured in same 1970s party photographs and spoken of in the same breath as slightly older local artists, including Ed Ruscha and Billy Al Bengston, Arnoldi has always been “the kid.” In the highly experimental Los Angeles art scene of the late 1960s and 1970s, Arnoldi established an aesthetic separate from his peers. “The exhibition traces the evolution of the artist’s practice from the seminal Sticks works of the 1970s through the aggressive physicality of the plywood-based Chainsaw works in the 1980s, into the chromatic glories of the paintings of the last two decades,” says curator Bruce Guenther. Through his use of materials, he both created within and radically redefined the two-dimensional form, making artwork at the intersection of sculpture, drawing, and painting.

The exhibition will be complemented by a free publication produced by the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation and authored by curator Bruce Guenther. During the run of the exhibition, the Fisher Museum will present a slate of related public programming including curator and artist talks and a panel featuring Arnoldi and his Venice Beach peers.

Arnoldi Press Release