Franco Angeli was born in Rome in 1935 from a family tied to the socialist tradition. Angeli began working in art in the mid-1950s as a reaction to the devastation of WWII and as a platform to expose his leftist/communistic views.
At the age of twenty, in 1955, Franco Angeli started his artistic career at Edgardo Mannucci’s studio, where he stayed until 1957. During these years he got in touch with the work of Alberto Burri and the Informal Art movement, from where he took the idea to use dark materials covered with torn, scratched nylon and monochrome canvas. In 1959 Franco Angeli exhibited for the first time in a group exhibition at the “La Salita” Gallery in Rome, which allowed him to get in contact with artists such as Renato Guttuso, Jannis Kounellis, Fabio Mauri and Pino Pascali.
In 1960 Angeli had his first solo exhibition at “La Salita” Gallery, followed by a collaboration with Bruce Conner, Christo and Kudo in 1963. He has also presented works with Maurizio Calvesi at the Biennale di Venezia, with La Lupa and Quarder Dollar. During 1968-70 Franco Angeli participated in the political and artistic fervour caused by the Vietnam War. Known for his reckless lifestyle, he was permitted to enter as a new member to the School of Piazza del Popolo, an independent group of “cursed” artists. He found his partner in life Livia Lancellotti in 1975, who gave him his daughter Maria in 1976. During the 1980s Angeli was more attracted by stylized figures portraying childhood symbols and obelisks, capitals and dessert squares. Franco Angeli passed away at the age of 53 in Rome on November 12, 1988.