Few sculptors successfully transcend the line between craftsman and artist; Cesare Arduini, an Italian who lived and worked in the Bronx, was one of them. Drawing on his years of experience as a master marble worker, Arduini created dynamic, wholly unique works of sculpture which do not merely defy gravity, but his practical roots as well.
Arduini was born, the youngest of four, in the province of Verona in Italy, a region as well known for its remarkable abundance of marble as its famous wines. As a young man, he had dreams of becoming a mechanical engineer. But choices were limited, and the only options available to him were following in his father’s footsteps as a butcher or entering the marble-working trade. Arduini chose marble.
In the course of his education at the Instituto Paolo Brenzoni Arte del Marmo in Sant’Ambrogio di Valpolicella, Arduini became so skilled in his chosen medium that he won a sponsorship to come to New York as a marble specialist. It was here in New York, at the age of 23, that he began using his trade to work on residential and commercial projects, building a reputation as an elegant and artistic craftsman.
After twenty-five years leading the marble industry of the region, Arduini came to a crossroads. Having overcome health issues which put his career on hold, and with the encouragement of his cousin Flevie Rigo, Arduini decided to change gears, abandoning practicality entirely for pure expression, employing his mastery of marble-shaping in the creation of his own works of sculpture.
In the succeeding years, Arduini created a body of work that reveals the inherent beauty of marble—its varying shapes, densities, and grains. His sculptures, carved in tightly geometric shapes, incorporate other materials in addition to marble—onyx, granite, corrugated metal, and oak—and are often as figural as abstract, ranging from the contemplation of subjects as tactile and real as the human face, to ideas as opaque and ponderous as clanship and chaos. The result is an oeuvre which is as eclectic as it is elegant.