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Italian painter and stage designer, brother of the sculptors Dino Basaldella and Mirko Basaldella (who like Afro preferred to be known simply by his first name; see Mirko). Afro was born in Udine, the son of a decorative painter, and he studied in Florence and Venice. He had his first one-man exhibition at the Galleria del Milione, Milan, in 1932, and in 1938 moved to Rome, where he lived for most of the rest of his life. During the Second World War he served in the Italian army and fought with the Resistance. After the war he joined the Fronte Nuovo delle Arti in 1947 and the Gruppo degli Otto Pittori Italiani in 1952. From 1950 he often visited the USA; he had regular exhibitions at the Catherine Viviano Gallery in New York and he taught at Mills College in Oakland, California. Afro's early work, which included landscapes, portraits, and still-lifes, was influenced by Cubism, but after the war he developed a loose improvisatory abstract style influenced by Abstract Expressionism and he came to be regarded as one of the leading Italian artists working in this Art Informel idiom. He painted a mural entitled The Garden of Hope for the restaurant of the UNESCO Building in Paris (1958).

Subjects: Art.

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