Nuclear art

Enrico Baj



Enrico Baj pittore

Enrico Baj was an Italian painter and sculptor. He was born in Milan on 31 October 1924, proving himself a multifaceted and influential artist from a young age. After his initial studies at the Liceo Ginnasio Giovanni Berchet, Baj undertook an academic path in Medicine at the University of Milan, before moving towards the Faculty of Law, completing his studies and becoming a lawyer. At the same time, his passion for art led him to attend the Brera Academy of Fine Arts. This unique educational path helped shape the Baj painter, an artist who would leave an indelible mark on the world of contemporary art.


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Enrico Baj Painter

Enrico Baj pittore

Enrico Baj was an Italian painter, sculptor, essayist, writer and one of the most important artists of the post-war period. Born in Milan in 1924. He studied at the Liceo Ginnasio Giovanni Berchet, then enrolled in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Milan, only to abandon it in favor of the Faculty of Law and the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, which he attended at the same time.
Throughout his life he has always had relationships with Italian and foreign poets and writers including André Breton, Marcel Duchamp, Raymond Queneau, Edoardo Sanguineti, Umberto Eco and joined various artistic movements including the Surrealism, the New Realism and Pataphysics until he founded the Movement in 1951 with Sergio Dangelo and Gianni Dova Nuclear. The founding principle of the Nuclear Movement consisted in believing that all forms disintegrate, because the new forms of man are those of the atomic universe. The whole of humanity, according to Baj, has become a slave to technology, and in order to find the new reality it is necessary to descend into the atom, since that is where the entire universe is found.
In 1953, together with Asger Jorn, he founded the International Movement for an Imagist Bauhaus, in controversy with the Ulm School of Max Bill; in 1954 the two artists gave life to the International Ceramics Meetings in Albissola Marina at the Ceramiche Mazzotti, in which Lucio Fontana, Emilio Scanavino, Karel Appel, Guillaume Corneille, Roberto Matta, Aligi Sassu, Édouard Jaguer.
In the 1950s, Enrico Baj collaborated with the avant-garde magazines Il Gesto, Boaand Phases. Over the years, his passion for writing increased, leading him to the publication of numerous books, including Pataphysics, Automythobiography, Let's learn painting , Fantasy and reality with Guttuso, Ecology of art.
In 1957, Enrico Baj signed the manifesto Against style and held his first solo exhibition abroad, at Gallery One in London. In 1959 he joined the Manifeste de Naples .
In 1962 he participated in the exhibition The Art of Assemblage in New York, on the occasion of which he met Duchamp.
Between 1963 and 1966 he spent a lot of time in Paris, where he joined the Collège de Pataphysique . In 1964 he obtained a personal room at the Venice Biennale and in the same year he exhibited at the Milan Triennale .
Enrico Baj elaborates and composes his works with extremely particular and unusual materials, such as wood, fabrics, plastic or even hydraulic pipes. The choice behind the use of these materials is justified by the fact that the artist himself believes that they represent the new world in which we live. In fact, Enrico Baj usually represents his works as the mirror of a deformed reality, totally different from what we usually see, since humanity has lost its form, becoming a slave to appearance and technology. In his works, the artist uses different techniques, trying his hand at dripping, collage, inlay or even veneering .
Among his most famous works which have marked the history of contemporary art we remember the Generals series which grotesquely represent generals in service uniform. Enrico Baj's interest in this topic arises precisely from the fact that the artist lived the period of the Second World War to the full, observing the destruction of the sense of humanity in its most complete form.
The funeral of the anarchist Pinelli is an enormous carving work, 3 meters high and 12 meters long. Within the composition, there are 18 figures carved by the artist, including Pinelli, who is praised by the characters on the right side and practically lynched by the characters always in military uniform and with monstrous features on his left. This work represents the interest that Enrico Baj has always had in the field of public justice, an opinion that has often made him align himself ideologically with the revolutionaries, who would like to change the world in favor of a stronger sense of humanity than the current one.
The series of sculptures of Plastic Ties represents one of the symbols of modern social status, ties in fact, made of a material which has now invaded the entire modern world. It is a collection of works with a strong connotation of social criticism.
Even Manichini, together with Epater le robot , represent a very strong message of social criticism, in which Enrico Baj discusses the society now totally lost in the process of infinite progress, of which it is increasingly slave and less master.
In Tribal Masks we instead find Enrico Baj's warning towards Western society at the end of the twentieth century, which has lost any sense of psycho-cultural evolution, to return, humanly speaking, to the primitive stage. It is all obviously an oxymoron towards unbridled progressivism, criticized by the artist in practically all his works.
Enrico Baj died in Vergiate in the province of Varese in 2003.




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