Alfredo Volpi was a highly respected Italian-Brazilian painter, who, despite having had his works exhibited in Europe in 1944, is only now receiving his first solo exhibition in London.
Volpi was born in Lucca, in Italy, in 1896, but emigrated to São Paulo with his parents when he was two years old. He was a self-taught artist, receiving no formal training, but his prodigious early work left no doubts about his innate abilities, both as a typographer and an interior decorator, and the money earned from this work enabled him to purchase his first set of watercolours.
In spite of his humble origins and leaving school at an early age, Volpi still managed to prove his artistic credentials, showing in his impressively original paintings that he was fully conscious of the visual languages found in impressionism, pointillism and modernism. His first works as an outright painter – landscapes and everyday scenes painted on card – are from 1914.
His work is remarkable for its use of colour, along with its simplified form. Alfredo Volpi is considered to have been one of the most influential artists of the 20th century Brazilian art scene. He worked around popular themes whilst utilizing colour and geometry in a sophisticated way. He can be considered to be a part of the Modernism of the 20s and 30s, and also the art as experience movement which developed during the 50s and 60s.
“I have always painted what I feel, my style of painting gradually transformed, it started with a focus on nature, then went off on a different track, but sometimes found its way back, I never think about what I’m doing, only about the specific detail of the lines, the shapes, the colour. Nothing else”. Volpi.
Date: 11 June to 29 July 2016
Where: Royal Oak Yard, Bermondsey Street, London – SE1 3DG
When: Tuesday to Friday, 2pm until 6pm; Saturday, 12pm until 4pm; and with appointments
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7357 9274