During the 1950s, Mirko created numerous poetic interpretations of ancient sculptural forms in copper, brass, and bronze. The chimera is a monstrous fire-breathing creature from Greek mythology and believed to be an omen for disaster. It is often described as having the features of several different animals—for instance, a lion’s head, a goat’s torso, and a snake’s tail—and the term can also refer to anything made up of disparate parts to create something dazzling or implausible. Many sculptural examples of such beasts exist in ancient art history. Yet in his work, Mirko does not strictly adhere to the formal qualities of these preexisting examples. His chimera creatures are as humorous and delightful as they are perplexing and, at times, terrifying.
Label from Menagerie: Animals on View, March 11–June 4, 2017