Ca' Pesaro

Ca' Pesaro

AFRO 1950-1970 From Italy to America and Back


AFRO 1950-1970
Dall’Italia all’America e ritorno / From Italy to America and Back

Scientific direction by Gabriella Belli
Curated by Elisabetta Barisoni and Edith Devaney

21 April – 23 October 2022

Venice, Ca’ Pesaro – International Gallery of Modern Art


For MUVE Contemporaneo programme Ca’ Pesaro – International Gallery of Modern Art is hosting Afro 1950-1970 Dall’Italia all’America e ritorno / From Italy to America and Back, exhibition dedicated to one of the leading exponents of Italian painting in the second half of the 20th century.

Also recognized as a central figure in 20th Century international abstract art, Afro commenced his artistic career from Venice then moving to Rome and finally making a mark in the United States following his first visit there in 1950, and soon after becoming the best known and most appreciated Italian artist amongst American collectors.

America was a great testing ground for Afro Basaldella and gave him the opportunity to meet members of the New York school, including Pollock, De Kooning and Gorky.
With the collaboration of Archivio Afro Foundation and the inclusion of key works from major Italian and international museums which cover many of the years of Afro’s artistic maturity, Ca’ Pesaro pays homage to this artist who is also and fittingingly well represented in its collection.
Bringing these works together will shed new light on the intense relationship that was established between Italian and American art and which saw a union of the European traditions of abstraction with the newly established Abstract Expressionist movement.

Trough 45 works shown with some selected drawings and significant archival materials, Ca’ Pesaro intends to present the crucial years of Afro’s production, when the artist is in close contact with the American world, an exposure which contributed to the full development of his own clear and distinct visual language, which unites the intimate assimilation of Venetian painting and tonal color to influences from synthetic cubism and abstract art.

The exhibition also includes a small selection of the works of artists linked to Afro’s life and creativity, such as Matta and Scialoja, together with his contacts with the American art scene, including the spiritual bond, distant in time, with Arshile Gorky and the close friendship with Willem De Kooning.


In collaboration with

In partnership with

With the support of Magonza Editore