Mirko Basaldella

Mirko BASALDELLA | Works and biography



Coming from a family of artists, Mirko Basaldella he was a well-known Italian painter and sculptor, as were his brothers Afro and Dino, active in the mid-1900s and capable of marking the country's art with innovative and suggestive works.

Born in Udine in 1910, he immediately showed his creative vein and decided to attend the Art School of Venice, the Academy of Florence and finally the Monza School of Art, thus expanding their theoretical and practical knowledge on the subject.

Until 1933 Mirko Basaldella was a pupil of the famous master Arturo Martini at his studio, until he thought that Rome was the right environment to launch into a sector in strong turmoil. He immediately established a series of interesting relationships with the leading cultural figures of the period, such as Cagli, Scipione, Fazzini, Alberti, Mazzacurati and Leoncillo

After its first exhibition in 1935 at the La Cometa Gallery, it was a stay in Paris that changed his artistic vision, too limited by the Mediterranean environment. Accompanied by his brother Afro, discovered the new European trends that were quickly taking shape, remaining definitely fascinated by them. Back at the base, in the same year he joined the Milanese group of Chain, so as to expand its visibility within the main living rooms.
His 1947 exhibition held at the Galleria Knoedler in New York, which achieved such success that it was repeated in 1949.

Sculpture was his main field of action, a fact that was even more evident when in the following two years he designed the three gates of the Fosse Ardeatine, a bronze creation that impressed with its grandeur and attention to detail.
His was a continuous research aimed at modernity, which led him to abandon traditional materials in favor of more innovative elements, such as iron wires combined with concrete, metal nets and current plastics.

Interesting is the phase that hit it later, impregnated with oriental culture and exotic influences.
Mirko Basaldella's production was therefore enriched by totems, subjects dating back to mythical iconography, and reconstructions of finds belonging to ancient and fascinating civilizations, such as the Assyrians, the Jews, the pre-Columbians and the inhabitants of Mesopotamia.
It is a really interesting contamination, combined with the increasingly advanced techniques that artists and sculptors were learning.
The protagonists until 1960 were therefore copper and brass, cut out to create particular shapes, at the same time original and influenced by the culture of centuries earlier.

From 1957 Mirko Basaldella became director of the Design Work Shop al Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, at the University of Cambridge, completely changing continent and opening up to the technological and mechanical influence that was permeating America in those years.
However, his expression certainly could not miss a reference to the Red Indians, which he was able to study closely and re-propose within his works.
Sculpture therefore assumed a double value, of a push towards modernity but also of recovery of the archaeological aspect, through a rediscovery of the sacred and almost magical dimension of art.

During this decade Mirko Basaldella showed even more his ability to shape all kinds of materials, starting from waste materials up to bricks, passing through the industrial elements that were beginning to assert themselves also in the art world.
A series of bronzes and painted woods, based on biblical episodes and rich in fine cultural references, belong to the latter period.

Mirko Basaldella died in 1969 in Cambridge