Artist:Mirko Basaldella


1926 — 1998, Milan

Information:Sculptor/Painter, Italy

Mirko Basaldella


Mirko Basaldella,

Mirko Basaldella, Stele seconda, 1957/1959, Bronzo, 252×46×37 cm


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.

Personal exhibitions

1936Roma, ItaliaGalleria della Cometa
1936Torino, ItaliaGalleria La Zecca
1939Roma, ItaliaGalleria di Roma
1945Roma, ItaliaGalleria dello Zodiaco
1947New York, USAKnoedler Gallery
1947Roma, ItaliaGalleria dell’Obelisco
1948New York , USAKnoedler Gallery
1949New York , USAKnoedler Gallery
1950New York , USACatherine Viviano Gallery
1951Milano, ItaliaGalleria del Milione
1954Roma, ItaliaGalleria Schneider
1955Roma, ItaliaGalleria dell’Incontro
1956Milano, ItaliaGalleria Montenapoleone
1957Londra, UKArthur Jeffress Gallery
1957New York, USACatherine Viviano Gallery
1958Roma, ItaliaGalleria Schneider
1958Cambridge, Massachussets, USAFogg Art Museum, Harvard University
1959Torino, ItaliaGalleria La Galatea
1959Providence, USAMuseum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design
1960New York, USATrabia Gallery
1961Boston, USAThe Pace Gallery
1961New York, USAWorld House Galleries
1961Urbana, USAKrannert Art Museum, University of Illinois
1961Washington D.C., USAObelisk Gallery
1961Boston, USAThe Pace Gallery
1962Montreal, CanadaDominion Gallery
1963Los Angeles, USAFelix Landau Gallery
1963Roma, USAGalleria La Nuova Pesa
1964Waitsfield, Vermont, USAThe Bundy Art Gallery
1964-1965Boston, USAInstitute of Contemporary Art
1965Boston, USAWard-Nasse Gallery
1967Lincoln, Massachussets, USADe Cordova Museum
1968Roma, ItaliaGalleria Rizzoli
1968Milano, ItaliaGalleria Rizzoli
1970Cambridge, Massachussets, USACarpenter Center for Visual Arts, Harvard University
1971Roma, ItaliaGalleria Nuovo Carpine
1972Ferrara, ItaliaGalleria Civica d’Arte Moderna, Palazzo dei Diamanti

Collective exhibitions

1938Venezia, ItaliaXIV Biennale Internazionale d’Arte
1939Roma, ItaliaIII Quadriennale d’arte nazionale
1940Milano, ItaliaVII Triennale
1945-1952Chicago, USAArt Institute of Chicago
1951Palm Beach, USAFuturism and Later Italian Art
1952Venezia, ItaliaXXVI Biennale Internazionale d’Arte
1953Londra, UKThe Unknown Political Prisoner Tate Gallery
1953Anversa, BelgioII Biennale de sculpture
1953Zurigo, SvizzeraJunge italienische KunstKunsthaus
1955Roma, ItaliaGalleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna
1954Venezia, ItaliaXXVII Biennale Internazionale d’Arte
1954Milano, ItaliaX Triennale
1955Roma, ItaliaIV Quadriennale Nazionale d’Arte
1955Kassel, GermaniaDokumenta
1955New York, USAThe New Decade, 22 Europeans Painters and SculptorsThe Museum of Modern Art
1955San Paolo, BrasileIII Bienal de São Paulo
1955Madrid, Barcellona, Santander, Saint Etienne, Spagna, FranciaExposicion de Arte Italiano Contemporaneo
1955Roma, ItaliaLe arti plastiche e la civiltà meccanicaGalleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna
1957Milano, ItaliaXI Triennale
1957New York, USATrends in Water-colours today Italy The Brooklin Museum
1957Chicago, USAItalian Sculptors The Art Club
1957Bruxelles, BelgioPalais des Beaux-Arts, Galerie Aujourd’hui
1958Pittsburgh, USASonsbeek ’58 Carnegie Institute
1959Kassel, GermaniaDokumenta II
1959-1960Roma, ItaliaVIII Quadriennale Nazionale d’Arte
1960Venezia, ItaliaXXX Biennale Internazionale d’Arte
1960Milano, ItaliaArte italiana del XX secolo da collezioni americanePalazzo Reale
1961Anversa, BelgioVI Biennale de sculpture
1961New York, USA4 Summer InternationalWorld House Galleries
1961New York, USAItalian Sculptors of TodayColumbia University
1962Spoleto, ItaliaV Festival dei Due Mondi

1963Graz, AustriaTrigon 63
1965San Paolo, BrasileVIII Bienal de São Paulo
1967San Paolo, BrasileIX Bienal de São Paulo
1967, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, CostaricaArte Italiano Contemporaneo
1968Venezia, ItaliaXXXIV Biennale Internazionale d’Arte
1971Liverpool, UKNew Italian Art, 1953-71Walker Art Gallery
1971Parigi, FranciaIVe Exposition Internationale de Sculptures contemporaries Musee Rodin
1974Tokyo, GiapponeMostra degli Scultori Italiani contemporanei Grandi Magazzini Seibre
1974Hong Kong, Hong KongMostra di Scultori contemporanei italiani City Museum and Art Gallery