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Arthur Giardelli –
Vincent Charles Arthur Giardelli, MBE, (11 April 1911 – 2 November 2009) was a Welsh artist of Italian paternal descent.
Giardelli’s work is held in many collections including the Tate, the National Museum of Wales, the National Library of Wales, Contemporary Art Society of Wales, Arts Council of Wales, Museum of Modern Art Wales, Brecknock Museum, Tenby Museum and Art Gallery together with museums and galleries in New York City, Dublin, Nantes, Bratislava and Prague.
In 1948 Arthur Giardelli was one of the founders of the South Wales Group (which later became The Welsh Group) and the 56 Group Wales, of which he became president towards the end of his life. He was also on the committee of the Contemporary Art Society for Wales and on the Welsh Arts Council. He helped found the University Art Collection at Aberystwyth.
Giardelli first began to take his art seriously in the 1940s, when he arrived in Merthyr Tydfil, where he first met Cedric Morris and Heinz Koppel who both encouraged him. The town had an immediate impact on Giardelli; he once told poet Meic Stephens that “when the train finally pulled into Merthyr, I felt I’d come home”.
Giardelli felt he had to constantly draw, paint and create and feared a world where his creative practice wasn’t part of his life. He said “If I don’t paint for a month, I may give it up for ever, so the constant challenge is that you must keep working. You must paint. You must draw. It’s like speaking”.
Giardelli used watercolours and found materials, including shells and driftwood. He was perhaps best known for his abstract relief constructions inspired by nature and the seasons. Conversely he was also inspired by Modernist artists including Piet Mondrian.