Mirko Basaldella | Original prints, lithographs, etchings and illustrated books




Mirko Basaldella (Udine, 28 September 1910 - Cambridge, 24 November 1969) was an Italian sculptor and painter.

Brother of Afro and Dino Basaldella, he studied at the Art School of Venice, at the Academy of Florence and at the School of art in Monza. He worked in the studio of Arturo Martini as a student until 1933, then moved to Rome. Here he met the artists of the Roman school such as: Scipione, Corrado Cagli (of whom he married his sister Serena), Antonietta Raphaël, Fazzini, Mazzacurati, Leoncillo.

He held his first exhibition in 1935 at the Galleria La Cometa, a gallery owned by the Countess Mimì Pecci Blunt and in which they were artistic directors Libero de Libero and a very young Corrado Cagli. A trip to Paris, performed in 1937 with his brother Afro, opened him up to a more complete view of art coming out of the confines of Mediterranean culture, absorbing the European one.

In 1935 he settled in Rome and joined the Milanese group of Corrente. In New York, at the Knoedler gallery in 1947 he held an exhibition that he will repeat in the following two years.

Between 1949 and 1951 he built the three gates of the Fosse Ardeatine, an imposing bronze sculpture. This significant experience led Basaldella towards the search for a new way of making sculpture, with structures and materials different from those traditionally used, including cement, wire mesh, iron wires, plastic materials.

In the following years there were many visits to oriental culture, mythical iconology, totems, Assyrian, Mesopotamian, Jewish and pre-Columbian finds. The period from 1953 to 1960 was characterized by the use of cut copper and brass plates. From that period are the series of the Lions of Damascus and the Chimeras.

In 1957 he was called to direct the Design work shop at the Carpenter Center fot the Visual Arts of the Harvard University of Cambridge in Massachusetts, from here his sculpture is oriented towards technological, mechanistic directions and towards fantastic stimulations of the sacral craftsmanship of the Red Indians, some themes obligatory of the sculpture were brought back in archaeological forms.

In 1962 he participated, together with the most important international sculptors of the time, in the exhibition Sculptures in the city organized by Giovanni Carandente in the context of the V Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto. He presented two bronze sculptures from 1961: Totem and Motato dentato.

In the second half of the sixties he dedicated himself to a new series of painted woods, the last bronzes and bronzes born from the sculptor's ability to shape every type of material, from waste materials to bricks, to the residues of industrial wrapping materials. Finally, the explicitly figurative themes inspired by the biblical theme of the thirties reappear, filled with refined cultural memories.