Afro Basaldella biography

Afro Basaldella

Visual Artist

1912 – 1976


Who was Afro Basaldella?

Afro Basaldella was an Italian painter and a member of the Scuola Romana. He was generally known by the single name Afro.

Born in Udine, Afro first showed his work when he was sixteen, alongside 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 Galleria del Milione in Milan. In 1935 he participated in the Rome Quadriennale art exhibition, and he showed his work several times at the Venice Biennale. Afro followed the School of Rome, creating murals and taking part in the neo-Cubism movement.

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

Dore Ashton wrote about Afro in 1955 in Art Digest: “Like most Italians, Afro knows how to celebrate. The fanciful, ebullient side of his nature emerges in the high-keyed recent paintings—those in which he allowed himself the most freedom and spontaneity to date. In these, he celebrates the delights of senses”.

Afro was shown in an exhibition called The New Decade: 22 European Painters and Sculptors, which toured the United States. His work was included at documenta 1 in Kassel, Germany. In the mid-1950s Afro's art became known worldwide, and he was celebrated in his home country with the honor of Best Italian Artist at the 1956 Venice Biennale.


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Mar 4, 1912
  • Italy
Jul 24, 1976

on July 23, 2013

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