Armando Baldinelli (1908-2002)

Armando Baldinelli (1908-2002), was born in Ancona Italy. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome and then the Bologna Lyceum and the School of Advanced Arts in Modena. He was a regular participant in the Venice Biennale by 30 and exhibited in Berlin, Budapest and cities throughout Italy. He served in World War 2 and afterwards travelled and exhibited extensively in Europe, the US and the Far East. After the loss of his wife Gianna aged 26, he visited South Africa in the early 1950's at the suggestion of a friend and fell in love with the country. After initially staying and working from hotels along with expat Italian artists such as Eduardo Villa and Pino Cattaneo, Baldinelli built a home and studio for himself in Oaklands where he lived and worked until he died in 2002. Balinelli was an internationally renown artist when he came to South Africa but was now a little cut off from the art world. However his artist talent flourished in the new environment and his style and use of materials became more experimental. He was commissioned to produce mosaics for numerous public buildings in South Africa. Baldinelli was a versatile artist who also did charcoal drawings, oil paintings, watercolours, stone paintings, wood engravings and frescoes, many of which are in galleries and private and corporate collections in Rome, Florence, Milan, Bologna, Venice, New York, London, Tokyo and South Africa. He died in Johannesburg at the age of 93.