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AFRO - BETWEEN COLOURS AND EMOTION
Art of Another Kind
A new Approach to Post-War Abstraction
SETAREH presents Art of Another Kind - A new Approach to Post-War Abstraction. The exhibition will showcase representative works of the Informel movement by Afro, Erwin Bechtold, Bram Bogart, Peter Brüning, Carl Buchheister, Karl Fred Dahmen, Hisao Dōmoto, Winfred Gaul, K.O. Götz, Hans Hartung, Gerhard Hoehme, Norbert Kricke, Christian Megert, Georges Noël, Jean Piaubert, Giuseppe Santomaso, Emil Schumacher, Jaroslav Serpan, K.R.H. Sonderborg, Fred Thieler, Mohsen Vaziri-Moghaddam, Fritz Winter, Wols et. al.

This Viewing Room is focused on the works Merida (1967) and Per non Dimenticare (1952) by Afro, which are on view at the exhibition Art of Another Kind.
Afro in his studio, 1959
“I really wanted that reality identified with the painting and that the painting becomes the reality of feeling, not its representation.“
Afro in an interview during his American venture
Afro Libio Basaldella was born in Udine on March 4, 1912, the youngest of three sons. His father, Leo, who died in 1918, and his uncle Ivo were both decorative painters, while two other uncles were goldsmiths. He developed an interest in pictorial arts – as did his brothers Dino and Mirko, who were to become sculptors – from spending time in the family shop, an interest later cultivated in the studios annexed to the Evangelical Institute in Venice, where Afro attended middle school and high school with his brothers, up until in 1931, after a period of time spent in Florence and Milan.
Afro
Merida
1967
Mixed media on canvas
69 x 79 cm
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Installation view
Afro, Merida
1967, Mixed media on
canvas, 69 x 79 cm
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Afro in his studio in the Castello di Prampero near Udine, 1963, photo: Italo Zannier
Afro in his studio
At the end of the Sixties, Afro’s painting underwent a kind of contraction: the forms, once free to follow the gesture of the brush, came to be defined in contours which tended toward the geometric; Afro again used the center of the composition, as in Terza baronessa (1970), and extended the color in large and uniform backgrounds. Some of the group shows in which he participated are Ventiquattro Presenze organized by Cesare Vivaldi at the Italian-Latin American Cultural Institute in Rome, and I Pittori Italiani dopo il Novecento, which traveled from Pontedera, to Ferrara, to Milan.

At this time Afro’s painting made use of closed and compact forms which created a geometry of contours, sometimes sharp, sometimes soft: rhomboids, semicircles, rectangles, and squares recompose the structure of the canvas. In fact, having exhausted the expressionist tendency, and shaken by difficult existential developments, Afro began to elaborate a picture from contained forms as they came to him; he launched into a dry chromatism with very limited shading. His work “recomposed” itself into a formal exactness which bore witness to the artist’s withdrawal into himself.
Afro
Per non Dimenticare
1952
Mixed technique on canvas
76 x 102 cm

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Installation view
Afro, Per non Dimenticare
1952, Mixed technique on canvas
76 x 102 cm
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de Kooning and Afro in de Kooning's studio, USA, 1966
Afro with Stravinsky, New York 1952
Afro with Stravinsky, New York 1952
Afro, Mills College, 1957-58, by Life magazine

Art of Another Kind - A new Approach to Post-War Abstraction is part of the federal proramm NEUSTART KULTUR. The exhibition will be on view until August 25, 2021 at SETAREH, Düsseldorf.
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