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The Vanguard: Afro Libio Basaldella

on September 11, 2023

Afro Libio Basaldella, known mostly as just Afro, isn't usually among the names commonly listed in the postwar Abstract Expressionist movement, but I'm fond of his work.

One reason he's not usually mentioned is that he was Italian, not American. Basaldella was born in Udine in 1912 and only arrived in New York in 1950. 

Abstract Expressionism artist Afro Libio Basaldella

By Afro Libio Basaldella.

Before New York, Afro embraced various styles, and his evolution as a painter was marked by realism, cubism, and finally Abstract Expressionism. His migration from crisp realism to neo-cubist abstraction reflected his encounters with international influences, notably Arshile Gorky.

Abstract Expressionist Afro Libio Basaldella

By Afro Libio Basaldella.

Once in New York City, he forged a longterm collaboration with the Catherine Viviano Gallery. It was at this point when his work reflected the most freedom and spontaneity in his process. These paintings are vibrant and expressive and garnered global acclaim.

Abstract Expressionist Afro Libio Basaldella

By Afro Libio Basaldella.

So, despite not being a household name in the mainstream history of Abstract Expressionism, Afro's legacy of bold and colorful experimentation endures.


Pete Stein
Founder, Galerie Stein

Galerie Stein will be presenting several contemporary Abstract Expressionist artists both virtually at and in our gallery in Montreal in 2024.
Contact: Pete Stein at