The Italian painter Afro Basaldella, known simply as Afro, studies in Venice and Florence. In 1930, thanks to a scholarship, he had the opportunity to travel to Rome with his brother Dino and get in touch with the artistic environment of the capital. There he meets the artists Scipione, Mario Mafai and Corrado Cagli. Afro moves to Milan in 1932. He shows his works in the Galleria del Milione in 1933 and participates in the Quadriennale in Rome as well as in the Biennale in Venice several times. His first one-man show takes place in Rome in 1937.
In 1950 Basaldella travels to the USA for the first time, where he shows works in the gallery of Catherine Viviano. Afro aligns with Moreni, Corpora, Morlotti, Birolli, Santomaso, Turcato and Vedova, previous members of the Fronte nuovo delle Arti, together they form the Gruppo degli Otto. The artist more and more turn to abstract painting, influenced in the beginning by the style of his friend Willem de Kooning, though it would change again to become more geometric and controlled.
Afro Basaldella teaches at Mills College in Oakland, California in 1957-58. In 1958 he completes a mural for the UNESCO building in Paris. Ten years later he is appointed professor at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence,but he has to leave the post in 1971 for health reasons.Today, Afro’s works are held in the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., among others.