Afro Libio Basaldella

Afro Libio Basaldella (March 4, 1912 – July 24, 1976) was an Italian painter in the post-war period, working together with Alberto Burri and Lucio Fontana, and beginning as a member of the Scuola Romana. He was generally known by the single name Afro.
Born in Udine, Afro first showed his work when he was sixteen, alongside the paintings of his artist brothers, Dino and Mirko (it). Two years later he and Dino won a scholarship to study art in Rome under a stipend from the Marangoni Arts Foundation in Udine.
By 1933 he was exhibiting, along with fellow Friulians Bosisio, Pittino e Taiuti, at the Galleria del Milione in Milan. In 1935 he participated in the Rome Quadriennale art exhibition, and he showed his work several times at the Venice Biennale. Afro followed the School of Rome, creating murals. In 1936, he receives a commission to paint for the Udine opera house. In 1937, collaborating with Corrado Cagli, he works on large murals for the World Exhibition held in Paris.








 Afro's first personal exhibition was held in 1937 at the Galleria del Cometa in Rome. he traveled to the island of Rhodes to paint frescoes for the Hôtel des Roses. In 1941, he was awarded a lectureship for mosaic painting at the Venetian Academy of Fine Arts. By the late 1930s, Afro's painting began a migration from a crisp realist style to increasingly cubist, expressionistic, and abstract painting. After the war, his paintings, retain figurative titles, but reflect increasing neo-cubist patches, influenced by his exposure to Arshile Gorky in New York.
In 1950, he travelled to New York City, and began a twenty-year collaboration with the Catherine Viviano Gallery. Dore Ashton wrote about Afro in 1955 in Art Digest: “Like most Italians, Afro knows how to celebrate. The fanciful, ebullient side of his nature emerges in the high-keyed recent paintings—those in which he allowed himself the most freedom and spontaneity to date. In these, he celebrates the delights of senses”.
Afro was shown in an exhibition called The New Decade: 22 European Painters and Sculptors, which toured the United States. His work was included at documenta 1 in Kassel, Germany. 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" (Group of Eight).By the mid-1950s Afro's art was obtaining worldwide reputation, and he received the honor of Best Italian Artist at the 1956 Venice Biennale. In 1957, he was recruited to teach for eight months at Mills College in Oakland, California. While artist-in-residence at the school he made a mural for the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. It was titled The Garden of Hope and was included amongst works by Appel, Arp, Calder, Matta, Miró, Picasso and Tamayo at UNESCO.Wikipedia









Active and Structural Graphic Art Vladimír Boudník

Vladimír Boudník (17 March 1924 in Prague - 5 December 1968 in Prague) was a graphic artist, photographer and a key figure in Czech post-war art, and a representative of the "explosionism" movement. He is best known for his active and structural graphic art, but also created mostly photographic and monotype works that, until recently, remained unknown.During World War II Boudník was sent to forced labor in Germany, an experience that resulted in a lifelong trauma. After the war, he attended art school, where he studied printmaking. He spent a brief period working in advertising before getting a job at an ironworks in Kladno, where he met Bohumil Hrabal. In 1952 Boudník, began working for ČKD Works in Prague. The factory environment served as an inspiration for his "active graphics" made of industrial material and waste. In 1968, Boudník committed suicide while experimenting with asphyxiation.Boudník worked mostly in graphics, and developed a number of innovative printmaking techniques. He was also one of the first Czech artist to begin working with the general public, organizing "happenings" and interacting with psychiatric patients.His work had a large influence on many contemporary Czech artists, especially author Bohumil Hrabal, with whom he shared many years of friendship. Boudník appears in several novels by Hrabal.
Since 1995, the city of Prague has annually awarded the Vladimír Boudník Award.Wikipedia












 

Abstract Expressionism Art William Ronald

"William Ronald, (born Aug. 13, 1926, Stratford, Ont.—died Feb. 9, 1998, Barrie, Ont.), Canadian painter who was the driving force behind the formation in 1953 of Painters Eleven, a group that introduced abstraction to Canadian art. Ronald studied with Jock Macdonald at the Ontario College of Art in 1951 before briefly attending Hans Hofmann’s school in New York City the following year. Ronald embraced the contemporary, international style of Abstract Expressionism, and his monumental canvases were a striking departure from the then-prevailing approach of the Group of Seven, who painted folkloric subjects featuring Canadian themes in an earnest, traditional manner. Originally based in Toronto, Ronald visited New York City frequently before moving there in 1955. Several of his works were shown there in the Kootz Gallery, and others were purchased by the Guggenheim Museum in New York City and the Art Institute of Chicago. After a decade in New York City, he returned to Toronto. During a period of relative artistic inactivity, Ronald developed a flamboyant public persona and worked as an arts broadcaster on television and radio. He resumed painting in the early 1970s on a prolific scale, partly to fund his lavish lifestyle, but his extravagantly self-hyped works of this period, featuring an increasing preoccupation with Action painting, did not enhance his reputation. Ronald’s works from the middle and late 1950s were considered his most significant--large, ambitious panels of great spontaneity and exuberance, showing the influence of Willem de Kooning but featuring bold central images."(britannica.com)











 

Alice Rahon

Alice Phillipot (later Paalen and Rahon) (8 June 1904 – September 1987) was a French/Mexican poet and artist, whose work contributed to the beginning of abstract expression in Mexico. She began as a surrealist poet in Europe, but began painting in Mexico. She was a prolific artist from the late 1940s to the 1960s, exhibiting frequently in Mexico and the United States, with a wide circle of friends in these two countries. Her work remained tied to surrealism, but was also innovative including abstract elements and the use of new techniques such as sgraffito and the use of sand for texture. She became isolated in her later life due to health issues, and except for retrospectives at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in 1986 and at the Museo de Arte Moderno in 2009 and 2014, has been largely forgotten despite her influence on Mexican modern art.






Rahon's early artistic work was in poetry, often writing about scenes and landscapes from her childhood, as well as about her immobility and nostalgia.However, after arriving in Mexico, she began to paint, firstly in satercolours, inspired by the colour she encountered in Mexico. Most of her later work was in oils, but she also created drawings, collages and objects. The main influences in her work are surrealism, poetry, her travels and Mexico. Her work has been described as primitive and intensely poetic, “breathing with and inner life.”Her paintings have some link to surrealism but are also tied to her experiences in Mexico and her use of colour, light and the appearance of landscapes show influence from poetry. Influence from cave paintings and tribal art from her travels can also be seen. Her works were considered mature from the beginning, with abstract elements (not accepted in Mexico at the time) but still representing something concrete, almost always natural phenomena. Her surrealist influence was mostly from Paalen, with important early influences being Moraines, Rendez-vod de vivieres and Cristales del espacio. However, she is also classed with other surrealist artists from Europe in Mexico, such as Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington .Unlike these two, she did not confine herself to oils but experimented with techniques, especially those related to texture, showing influence from Rufino Tamayo.







Her themes include landscapes, elements from myths, legends, Mexican festivals, and elements of nature, along with mythical cities (which represent introspective worlds) and homage to various artists that she admired. Water appeared often, both in form and as the color blue. She made series of paintings related to rivers, similar to those created by Paul Klee titled El Nilo, Rio Papaloapan, Rio Papagayos and Encuentro de Rivieras (painted many years later).She created paintings to honor Giorgio de Chirico, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Joan Miró and Pablo Neruda .Two dedicated to Frida Kahlo include La balada de Frida Kahlo (made shortly after Frida's death), as well as Frida aux yeux d’hirondelle in 1956, which was reworked a decade later.





Agostino Bonalumi

Agostino Bonalumi (July 10, 1935, Vimercate – September 18, 2013, Desio) was an Italian painter, draughtsman and sculptor.
Bonalumi studied technical and mechanical drawing, and exhibited his first works at the “Premio Nazionale Città di Vimercate” (hors concours) in 1948, when he was just thirteen years old.He held his first solo show at the Galleria Totti, Milan, in 1956. In 1958 he began working with Enrico Castellani and Piero Manzoni, holding a group exhibition at the Galleria Pater, Milan, which was followed by further shows in Rome, Milan and Lausanne, the foundation of Azimuth magazine and his participation in exhibitions at the Azimut gallery.He started developing the idea of what he would call “pittura – oggetto” (painting-object), following the idea to go beyond the canvas started by their mentor Lucio Fontana. In 1959 he held his first solo show outside Italy in Rotterdam. In 1960 he was one of the founders of the international Nouvelle École Européenne (NEE) movement in Lausanne and his solo exhibition “Agostino Bonalumi. Recent Paintings, Sculptures and Drawings” opened at the New Vision Centre Gallery in London.






 Arturo Schwarz began collecting his works and, in February 1965, organised a Bonalumi exhibition in his gallery in Milan.
He had strong links with the German art scene, thanks to the interest of Udo Kultermann in his work (since 1960) and his collaboration with the Galerie M.E. Thelen in Essen.
He also had assiduous contacts and links with the international Zero movement (both in the Netherlands and Germany), documented by major exhibitions such as “Zero” in London, 1964, and the touring exhibition “ZERO Avantgarde”, which began in Lucio Fontana’s studio in Milan in 1965. 1965 marked the start of a long period of collaboration with Renato Cardazzo, director of the Galleria del Cavallino in Venice and the Galleria del Naviglio in Milan. He was Bonalumi’s sole agent for many years and, in 1973, supervised the publication of a lengthy monograph on the artist by Edizioni del Naviglio, written by Gillo Dorfles.In 1966 he was invited to take part in the 33rd Venice Biennale, where he exhibited a selection of his works in the same room as Paolo Scheggi, while in 1970 he had his own personal room at the 35th Venice Biennale (and a feature written on him in the catalogue by Luciano Caramel), in which he also installed some large environmental sculptures.
In 1967 he was invited to the São Paulo Biennial and the Biennial of Young Artists in Paris. This was followed by a period of study and work in northern Africa and America, where he lived for a while in New York. It was here that he held his first solo show in the United States: “Agostino Bonalumi. Painting–Constructions”, presented at the Galeria Bonino in 1967.







 During this period, Bonalumi embarked on his own particular course of painting and environmental sculpture, which unfolded over the decades in some fundamental stages: in 1967, Blu abitabile (Inhabitable Blue) created for “Lo spazio dell’immagine” exhibition in Foligno (and exhibited again in 1970 in the “Vitalità del negativo” show in Rome); in 1968, Grande Nero (Big Black) at the Museum am Ostwall in Dortmund; in 1979, as part of the “Pittura Ambiente” exhibition curated by Francesca Alinovi and Renato Barilli in the Palazzo Reale in Milan, Dal giallo al bianco e dal bianco al giallo (From Yellow to White and from White to Yellow). More recently, Ambiente bianco – Spazio trattenuto e spazio invaso (White Environment – Detained Space and Invaded Space), created in 2002 for the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice as part of the “Temi e Variazioni” project conceived and curated by Luca Massimo Barbero.
In 1974, a retrospective of the artist’s work, curated by Giulio Carlo Argan, was held in the Palazzo dei Musei in Modena. In 1980, the Regione Lombardia sponsored an exhibition in the Palazzo Te, Mantua, curated by Flavio Caroli and Gillo Dorfles: an extensive review that illustrated his entire artistic career.






 In 1981 he took part, together with Piero Dorazio, Mimmo Rotella and Giuseppe Santomaso, in the “Italian Art: Four Contemporary Directions” exhibition at the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art in Florida. In 1986 he participated in the 11th Rome Quadriennale and the 42nd Venice Biennale. Between 1986 and 1997 Bonalumi was represented exclusively by the Galleria Blu in Milan, which presented solo shows of his work in 1980, 1989, 1991, 1995 (with a monograph published by Scheiwiller as part of the Arte Moderna Italiana series, including a piece written by Vanni Scheiwiller), 2002 and 2005. A monograph by Elena Pontiggia, which documented Bonalumi’s works on paper and made from paper, was also published in 1995, as part of La Scaletta editions, San Polo, Reggio Emilia.
In 1997 he began working with the Galleria Fumagalli in Bergamo, which, in 1998, held an exhibition of his works from 1957 to 1997, accompanied by a monograph by Alberto Fiz and Marco Meneguzzo.Wikipedia