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Franco Angeli was born in Rome in 1935 from a family of humble origins and of a socialist and anti fascist tradition. Self-taught, he gets in touch with the work of Burri through Edgardo Mannucci, the former will influence his first works (1955-1957): monochrome canvases and dark materials covered with torn and scratched nylon stockings, symbols of poverty and pain.
He has his first group exhibition in 1960 at the Galleria La Salita of Rome. In 1961-61 he participates, together with Lo Savio, Festa and Schifano, in the exhibition Nuove prospettive della pittura italiana at Palazzo Re Enzo in Bologna. In 1964 he presents his Frammenti capitolini, fragments of collective symbols, at the Galleria L'Arco di Alibert in Rome. He participates in the Biennale of Venice presented by Maurizio Calvesi and the following year he is present at the IX Roman Quadrennial.
In 1967 he takes part in the Sao Paolo Biennial in Brazil where he presents his famous Half Dollar (1966-67), a symbol of American capitalism. In 1978 he participates in the Venice Biennial curated by Bonito Olivo.
In 1985 he is present at the XI Quadriennal of Rome and some years later, in 1988, a retrospective of his works is presented at the Galleria Rinaldo Rotta of Genoa.