Afro Basaldella

Born in 1912 - Italy


Afro Basaldella (Udine, March 4, 1912 - Zurich, July 24, 1976) was an Italian painter. He was known generally by his first name, Afro.

Afro first showed his work when he was sixteen, along with the paintings of his artist brothers, Dino and Mirko. Two years later he won a scholarship to study art in Rome.

By 1933 he was exhibiting at the Gallery of Milione in Milan. In 1935 he participated in the exhibition Quadrennial Art of Rome, and showed his work several times at the Venice Biennale. Afro followed the School of Rome, creating murals and taking part in the neocubist movement.

Afro traveled to New York in 1950 and a collaboration that lasted twenty years with the Gallery Catherine Viviano began. The different cultural climate and the diversity of American art scene of the period impressed him, and his work began to reflect new influences.

Dore Ashton wrote on Afro in 1955 in Art Digest: "Like most Italians, Afro to know how to celebrate. The quirky side, full of nature emerges in its recent exciting paintings - those in which himself greater freedom and spontaneity is allowed to date. In these, celebrates delight the senses. "[Citation needed]

Afro exhibited at The New Decade: 22 European Painters and Sculptors, traveling exhibition in the United States. UU. His work was included in Documenta 1 of Kassel, Germany. In the mid-fifties, the art of Afro became known worldwide, and was celebrated in his native country with the honor of Best Italian Artist at the 1956 Venice Biennale.

He spent the next year teaching at Mills College in Oakland, California. During this time of artist in residence at the school he made a mural for the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The Garden of Hope ( "The Garden of Hope") It was called and was included between works of Appel, Arp, Calder, Matta, Miro, Picasso and Tamayo Unesco. Emily Genauer wrote on this mural and its preparatory sketches in New York Herald Tribune: "But one sees from the first sketches how important drawing really for him. With a tight line and measure despite its apparent whim, it provides not only the shapes and contours of details of the composition, but also its rhythmic pattern set and cohesion ". [Citation needed].

Afro continued to show his work internationally. He was invited to the second documented and presented at MIT and numerous European museums. He won first prize at the Carnegie Triennial in Pittsburgh and the Italian prize at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The Guggenheim bought his 1957 painting Night Flight ( "Night Flight"). In 1961, Guggenheim curator James Johnson Sweeney published a monograph on his work, in which he wrote: "Its color is sensual, warm - never cold; fluid, nonstructural; free edge, never with sharp contours. Light and color, shadow and form, suggested an effect achieved through its order and flow with the glories of his great predecessors space: this festive spark, this celebration of light and life-of life through the light". [Citation needed]

In the seventies, Afro began to have health problems, and died in 1976. The following year, a monograph by Cesare Brandi was published. In 1978 the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna in Rome paid homage in the form of a major retrospective. In 1992 a complete exhibition was held at the Royal Palace in Milan. In November 1997 the Catalogue Raisonné of Afro was presented at the American Academy in Rome and in 1998 at the Guggenheim Foundation in Venice.
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