April 28, 2017
Frames and Stretchers recently had a fantastic vintage canvas from Brazilian modernist painter Alfredo Volpi in the studio. It arrived with some small condition issues due to age and we were entrusted with re-stretching and re-framing the delicate work. All original vintage materials were used including stretcher bars, frame and even nails. Stascia did a brilliant job giving fresh new life to the mid-twentieth century work.
Framing the Alfredo Volpi painting with vintage materials
Alfredo Volpi was one of the most significant painters of Brazilian modernism. He was born in Italy, but moved with his family to São Paulo with his family at the age of two. He began painting around the age of twelve and moved from a naturalist style through expressionism and was briefly associated with the concretist movement of the 1930s. He eventually developed his own distinctive style using geometric abstract forms and colors. He also traded oils for the ancient traditional medium of tempera.
Details of the canvas before and after re-stretching
In the 1950s he created works based on the façades of houses, but in the 1960s he developed his signature "bandeirinhas" or “small flags” series. The flags are based on those used in Brazil during the annual Festa Junina, a type of Midsummer celebration. He used the stylized flag forms to create vibrant, colorful abstract works. The small reddish geometric form in the painting we worked on identifies this piece as one of the “bandeirinhas” series.
Detail of the painting showing the "bandeirinha" and artist's signature on back
During his career he participated in the second São Paulo Art Biennial and won the Grand Prix for Brazilian painting. More recent twenty first century exhibitions have shown that although he was self-taught he was influenced to some degree by other great modernist painters like Josef Albers. His use of tempera also shows that he had knowledge of historical painting techniques and materials. With works at auction realizing upwards of half a million dollars, Volpi is clearly positioned in history as one of the most important Brazilian painters of his generation and it was an honor to work with his art.
Stascia with the finished framed painting