Lucca, Itália, 1896 – São Paulo, SP, 1988
Alfredo Volpi enjoys one of the most illustrious and complex legacies of Brazilian modern artists. He began his career painting landscapes, marinas and portraits which, over time, transformed into stylized and geometric compositions still present in national and international imagery to this day. Volpi never adhered to any particular school, but was influenced by the Concretist movement - his trajectory, however, was individual and reached the threshold of abstraction. His best-known paintings, called “facades”, are from this period which began in the 1940s.
His first easel painting dates from 1914, but it was in the 1930s, upon joining the Santa Helena Group, that he rose to prominence in the São Paulo art scene. Volpi’s works of art are characterized by a blend of popular culture and erudite art, the creation of a formal geometric vocabulary; and vivid colors - prepared in a traditional fashion by the artist. For Volpi, the artisan practice was a resistance to the automatization and impersonality at the same time in which he consolidated his original and isolated trajectory. The main themes represented in his work were bunting, façades and masts, which were mixed into by kinetic and optical effects.