Afro Basaldella is born in 1912 in Udine (Italy). The artist, known only by his first name (Afro), is regarded as one of the major Italian painters of abstract art. Brother of the sculptors Mirko and Dino Basaldella, he is trained in Venice and is influenced by the "Scuola Romana" (Romain School). His first exhibition consists of works inspired by classic Venetian (del Milione Gallery, Milan, 1932). Since that time, he creates great murals decorations in Venice, Udine and Rome (1936-1939). From 1937, Afro explores the cubism of Picasso and Braque. In 1940, his art becomes expressionist and post-cubist. In 1945, Afro turns resolutely toward the analytical and synthetic abstraction of cubism, path confirmed after a first trip to the United States (1950). His style is then rather close to the one of the School of Paris and the abstract landscapes. In 1952 he exhibited at the Venice Biennial Event with the "Gruppo degli Otto" (the group of the eight, with Birolli, Corpora, Morlotti, Santomaso, Turcato, Vedova). Afro receives significant public commissions. In 1956 he won the prize of the Venice Biennial. He exhibits frequently in the United States and in Europe. After 1960, his painting becomes more gestural, then more traditional and orderly in the 70s. His art is found in most major museums around the world. Afro passes away in Zurich in 1976.
Bibliography : « Afro », Cesare Brandi, Col. Maestri del XX secolo, Ed. Editalia, Rome, 1977