Mirko Basaldella





Udine, 1910 – Cambridge, 1969
Mirko Basaldella was born in Udine on 28 September 1910. Raised in a family of artists, he studied with his brothers Dino (sculptor) and Afro (painter) in Venice and Florence. He attended the Institute of Applied Arts in Monza and lived in the company of Arturo Martini. He exhibited for the first time at the age of eighteen. Together with Afro, in 1934 he moved to Rome, and here the Galleria della Cometa dedicated his first solo exhibition. In 1935 he participated in the Venice Biennale as an exponent of the Roman School. In 1937 he was in Paris to visit the Exposition Universelle, where he met the masterpieces of the avant-garde of the beginning of the century: Cubism and in part Surrealism will mark him deeply.
The works of 1939-45 reveal a personal and exhaustive synthesis of the studies undertaken and modernism of the twentieth century. Among the various public commissions he received, the most important is the project of the gates of the mausoleum of the Fosse Ardeatine in Rome. At the beginning of the fifties he was in the United States together with other Italian artists, to whom the Catherine Viviano gallery in New York dedicated some solo shows. A further tribute came in 1955 when he was included in the exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York "A New Decade: 22 European painters and sculptors", and was awarded the first prize of the São Paulo Biennale. In 1957 he was appointed director of the Design Laboratory of Harvard University in Massachusetts, where he created monumental sculptures for private and public collections. He spent summers in Italy and participated in group exhibitions. In 1954 he exhibited at the Venice Biennale, where Peggy Guggenheim bought some of his works for her own collection. In 1959 he received the prize for sculpture at the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, in 1962 he was elected member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 1966 he received the first prize at the Quadriennale in Rome. Mirko died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on September 24, 1969.