Dates:1926 — 1998, Milan
Brother of Dino and Afro he was born in Udine but is educated first at the Liceo Artistico in Venice, and subsequently at the Academy in Florence and at the Monza school of the arts. In 1933 he meets Arturo Martini and transfers to Rome where be befriends the scuola romana [Roman School movement]: Antonietta Raphael, Pericle Fazzini, Mazzacurati, Leoncillo. In 1935 he opens his first solo exhibition at the Cometa in Rome, a gallery owned by Contessa Mimì Pecci Blunt, and where Libero De Libero and Corrado Cagli are artistic directors. A deep friendship develops with the latter, reinforced in 1938 with the marriage between Mirko and Serena Cagli. In the late 1930s he also associates with the Corrente group of artists from Milan.
In 1947 he holds his first exhibition abroad at the Knoedler Gallery in New York, and due to its success it is repeated the following two years. At the peak of his neo-cubist phase, between 1949 and 1951 he creates the three gates at the Mausoleum of the Ardeatine Caves in Rome, an imposing bronze monument dedicated to the victims of the slaughter of the Second World War. At the beginning of the 1950s Mirko travels to Syria, from where he returns with a renewed interest in oriental culture, biblical themes, Assyrian and Babylonian mythology and iconolgy, ancient Greek and pre-Columbian civilisations. Thus important painting and sculptural cycles are developed such as the Lions of Damascus, the Chimeras and the Totems.
In 1957 he moves to the United States, in Massachusetts, where he becomes the director of the Design Workshop at the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts at Harvard University in Cambridge. From then his pursuit veers even more towards new ways of creating sculptures, with different structures and materials to the usual bronze and plaster: copper, aluminum, brass, wood, concrete, wire mesh, wire, plastics, industrial packaging, discarded waste materials.
In the second half of the 1960s he dedicates himself to a new series of painted wood and he is drawn towards the figurative, both in his paintings and in his sculptures. He dies in the city of Cambridge in the USA in 1969.
Today his works are found in some of the most important museums in the world: the Vatican Museums, the Galleries of Modern Art in Rome and Turin, the Guggenheim in Venice, the Novecento Museum in Florence, the Fogg Art Gallery in Cambridge USA, and museums in Rotterdam, Philadelphia and Denver are just some of the places that host his work.