Mirko Basaldella

Mirko Basaldella
(b.1910, Italy –  1969)

Mirko Basaldella was an Italian sculptor and painter born in Udine (Italy) on September 28th 1910. He studied in Venice, at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence and at the School of Applied Arts in Monza, under the guidance of Arturo Martin.  He exhibited for the first time in Udine in 1928 at the First Exhibition of the Friulan avant-garde school when he was only eighteen years old, with his two brothers Afro, a painter and Dino a sculptor.

In 1934 he moved to Rome with his brother Afro and held his first solo exhibition at the Galleria della Cometa, following in 1935 when he was invited to represent the Scuola Romana (Roman School) at the Venice biennale.

Mirko Basaldella started making jewellery in the 30s depicting figurative themes of a mythological character on rigid gold and silver plaques. In the 50s, he moved to interwoven segmented like motifs. He was making jewellery independently and only at later stage he developed designs for Mario Masenza. Masenza, notably a key figure and  renowned Roman jeweller, Masenza was collaborating with artists from the Scuola Romana to design jewellery as sculptures made with precious materials.

The 60s were the beginning of Mirko’s new realistic era. His trip to Syria aroused a vivid interest in mythology, iconology and biblical themes that he represented using a variety of mediums such as copper, aluminium, brass, wood and concrete.

In 1957 Mirko left Italy to move with his wife Serena Cagli in USA. In the same year he was appointed as the Director of  the Design Workshop at the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he dies in 1969.

Today his works are shown in of the most important museums all over 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.