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Angel Baldovino - Biography

In Argentina

Angel Baldovino was born in Buenos Aires on July 29, 1929. Of Italian origin, he was the youngest of three brothers from a poor family who lived in the neighborhood of Pompeya.

At school, he liked drawing maps, he collected pictures of birds, watching the huge ships coming across the Atlantic, convinced that one day it will be possible to meet Europe. What was clear, really, was that he wanted to be a great artist. His mother always hoped that his son would reach his dream and for this he should work consistently and never lose hope.

He had to leave school to go to work. In his spare time he use to draw all the time. In Misiones, where his grandmother lived he caught through the graphite the forms of nature that attracted his attention. In Buenos Aires, he walked around the city searching of wilderness and uninhabited scenes that only he seemed to admire.

Baldovino started in the School of Fine Arts in 1949, but left in a few years. He continued his education by going to the workshop of master Demetrio Urruchúa, learnt about spatial organization with the architect and painter Teresio Fara and started in the art of engraving with Leonelo Muñeza. He was educated in arts world, because although he tried to receive a formal education, was life itself and his relentless pursuit through reading and practice of painting, which taught him the essence of this world: anyone could find him installed in the square of San Telmo in a stand full of papers with pastel drawings representing remote places of the city.

In the late sixties there were a lot of changes in his life. In 1968 he got married and had a son named Leonardo. Later, it began to succeed the exhibits and in turn increased the harvest of awards.

One day among many in which Baldovino was in his stall in the market square of San Telmo, something unexpected happened. The director of a famous gallery of Venice stopped to admire his paintings and, to the astonishment of the artist, proposed to expose in his gallery. The happiness came over him, because that meant his dream to come true: travelling to Europe, and exhibit there, just in Italy, the cradle of art and the country of origin of his ancestors.

Heading to Venice

Finally in November 1973 he exhibited at the Bevilacqua La Masa Gallery, located in the Piazza San Marco in Venice. There he exposed the sights of ports and deserted streets made in Buenos Aires. It was a dream fulfilled and completed with resounding success by the public and critics.

He settled in Venice for two years and this exhibition was followed by three others in the same city, in Fontana, Sylvester and St. Lucia galleries. In Italy not only exposed, also took the opportunity to visit museums and walk the streets learning classical and Renaissance art.

Return to Buenos Aires

In the mid seventies he returned to Argentina and joined the local plastic environment, offering a work summarizing his European experience.

In 1976 political events stained black Argentina. Many people exiled of that country exhausted and subdued, because of the fear toward the cruel dictatorship. Among these was Baldovino, who did not hesitate a moment to cross the Atlantic again, this time to Mallorca, invited by his friend Candido Ballester. The artist left the landscape style and presented his more abstract pictorial trend, influenced by southamerican art.

Mallorca, the "island of calm"

Reaching the island, he met Rafael Jaume and Esteban Pisón, with whom he kept a formidable friendship and partnership around the field of poetry.

In the early eighties, the artist was already fully integrated into the cultural landscape of the island. In this period, he lived between Mallorca and the Netherlands. His painting was moving into the realm of soul's emotions, influenced by the freedom of spirit and thought, promoted by the great artist and theorist Kandinsky.

Poetry and nature are engaged in Baldovino's painting leading to lyrical abstraction, where forms and colors are an inner need. The calmness, stillness, balance and harmony are the subject of his compositions.

In 1988, he traveled to the Canary Islands and met a dealer, who performed different exhibitions in Tenerife. Confident and innocent, did not realize that the man was selling all the work behind him and the island market become saturated of his painting. Therefore, they were forced to travel to Madrid. When he faced with reality and realize the deception, the artist, depressed and in pain, decided to ask for help from the Sisters of Charity of San Isidro shelter. He remained in obscurity for nearly three years, until he did an interview for “Interviú” magazine. When his Majorcan friends recognized him began to help him.

In the mid-nineties, he returned to Mallorca and his painting became to get through a world of dreams and illusions. In his paintings he materializes the immaterial, ethereal, he shows his dreams, dreams of a magical world, always looking for the hidden meaning of things, exploring the world of the unconscious searching the absolute beauty that is beyond reality.

Baldovino worked between abstraction and figuration. In his figurative paintings, there are reasons of great naturalism. However the rooms, the placement of the reasons, give us a sense of unreality. During 1996 and 1999, held exhibitions where we could enjoy these less abstract works. Works that spread through a supernatural sense of recognizable elements: fish, butterflies, profiles of men and women, spheres, moons and especially birds... acquiring a symbolic almost obsessive character.

During this period it began to speak of matter in the abstract works of Baldovino. The volume of the forms is enhanced by the inclusion of more pigment on canvas. But it was the turn of the century when the artist delved into the world of collage. The color is still fascinating, uses rich tones and full of life, to transform his work into an explosion of joy.

Baldovino, actually

The artist still works the world of abstraction, with shapes that make volume and depth in abstract spaces that can recognize the precise forms of our surrounding reality.

It is freedom that has always prevailed in their decisions and his way of life that will develop different tendencies dropping down without more concern than the work itself. Baldovino shows us with some wonderful paintings of vivid colors and shades that vibrate, gives us a free-form paintings and undulating, overlapping and intertwined. An intimate painting that causes emotions.

Pilar Serra

(from the book “Angel Baldovino, retrospective”. 2006)