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03 July 2018
15 September 2018

This show, produced in collaboration with the Fondazione Archivio Afro, presents around 50 artworks from the 1940s to the 1970s. The accompanying exhibition catalogue is edited by Philip Rylands, Director Emeritus of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, who has also written an original essay for the catalogue.

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the artist’s monumental fresco, The Garden of Hope created for the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, Tornabuoni Art holds an unprecedented retrospective dedicated to Afro, at its gallery in the heart of the Marais.

Born in Udine, from a family of painters and decorators, Afro quickly emerged — in the 1930s — as the most significant member of the School of Rome. From the 1950s, he travelled to the United States and developed an abstract art that combined American influences with, as Philip Rylands discusses in his catalogue essay, the great Italian artistic traditions of colour and line.

Along with Alberto Burri and Lucio Fontana, Afro is today considered an important example of Italian Abstraction. Initially he explored abstraction in formal terms – focusing on shape, colour and composition.

This show, produced in collaboration with the Fondazione Archivio Afro, presents around 50 artworks from the 1930s to the 1970s, and the final room is entirely dedicated to preparatory drawings of Afro’s majestic mural fresco The Garden of Hope.

The exhibition catalogue also features a study of UNESCO’s fresco and its preparatory drawings by Anne Monfort, curator at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, an analysis of the artist’s work and his close relationship with the American Abstract Expressionism movement by Barbara Drudi from the Accademia di Firenze and a text by Davide Colombo, History of Art Professor at the University of Parma. The publication is rich with original documents, including some of the artist’s correspondence, as well as a selected critical anthology, much of which has been translated into French and English for the first time on this occasion.

For the second step of the show, around 20 of Afro’s masterpieces will be exhibited in October 2018 at Tornabuoni Art London, with the aim of encouraging the British public to learn more about the only Italian Abstract Expressionist, whose work has rarely been exhibited in the UK.