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Afro Basaldella

1912 - 1976 Udine, Italy

1 Works exhibited


  • About the Artist
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Awards

Afro Basaldella was born in Udine in 1912. He died in Zurich in 1976.

He studied in Venice and Florence.

Thanks to the scholarship of the Marangoni Foundation, in 1929 he moved to Rome. Here he gets to know the protagonists of the Roman School. In 1932 with his brother Mirko, a sculptor, he frequented the studio of Arturo Martini.

In 1934 he joined the group of artists who gravitated around the Comet Gallery. These are the years of the frescoes for the Collegio dell'Opera Nazionale Balilla in Udine (1936), which have now disappeared.

He is internationally famous.

In 1928 he exhibited at the First Exhibition of the Friulian Avant-Garde School and, the following year, at the XX Exhibition of the Opera Bevilacqua La Masa in Venice.

In 1935 he exhibited at the Rome Quadriennale, in 1936 at the Venice Biennale. In 1937 he is in Paris. Together with Cagli, he works on the decorations for the International Exhibition. He lets himself be influenced by impressionist and cubist painting. Back in Rome, he holds a solo show where he demonstrates great compositional mastery and remarkable chromatic temperament. The following years see him engaged in numerous fresco works.

In 1940 he exhibited at the Venice Biennale with Montanari and Tamburi. With the outbreak of the war, Afro moved to Venice. He meets Vedova, Turcato, Santomaso and teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts. After 1945, after passing a brief expressionist phase, he arrives at a linear and coloristic synthesis, which is linked to his interest in Cubism. In 1948 he participated in the Rome Quadriennale and in the “famous” contemporary art exhibition at Palazzo Re Enzo in Bologna, which was subjected to criticism by Palmiro Togliatti.

1949 is an important year for Afro's artistic evolution. After having exhibited at the New York MoMA at the “XXth Century Italian Art” exhibition, he spends a few months in America. He joins the "stable" of New York gallery owner Catherine Viviano and approaches the production of American Action Painting artists. In 1951 Afro returned to Rome. Between 1952 and 1954 he joined the Group of Eight which brought together many artists of the New Front of the Arts (Birolli, Morlotti, Turcato, Santomaso, Vedova). Together with the whole group he exhibited at the Venice Biennale (1952 and 1954), in Hanover, Cologne and Berlin.

In 1955 he exhibited at the first Documenta in Kassel, at the Quadrennial in Rome and at an exhibition at the MoMA in New York. The exhibition will be presented in New York, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The following years saw him engaged in numerous international exhibitions: Documenta in Kassel (1959 and 1964), Venice Biennale (1960), Guggenheim Museum of New York (1961), Mathildenhöhe in Darmstadt (1967), Kunsthalle in Darmstadt (1969-70) ), Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara. In 1973 Afro took part in the 10th Rome Quadrennial as part of the "Situation of non-figurative art" exhibition.

In '56 he won the first prize as the best Italian artist at the Venice Biennale.

Works by Afro Basaldella

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68 x 70.5 cm


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