Afro Basaldella was one of the most important Italian painters in the post war period together with Alberto Burri and Lucio Fontana, and at the beginning 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. Two years later he won a scholarship to study art in Rome.
By 1933 he was exhibiting 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 and taking part in the Neo-Cubism movement.