Afro was an Italian artist celebrated for his gestural abstract paintings. His mature style was influenced by the work of Abstract Expressionists, particularly Arshile Gorky. Born Afro Libio Basaldella on March 4, 1912 in Udine, Italy, he began exhibiting at the age of 16 and studied painting in both Florence and Venice. Around 1933, Afro started working in as style similar to Sculoa Romana artists such as Fausto Pirandello. In the years that followed, his work changed as he embraced the style of his friend Willem de Kooning, though it would change again to become more geometric and controlled. The artist died on July 24, 1976 in Zurich, Switzerland. Today, Afroâs works are held in the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Galleria Nazionale dâArte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., among others.