- ENRICO BAJ PAINTER
Enrico Baj was a painter, sculptor, essayist It is Italian writer and one of the most important post-war artists.
Enrico Baj was 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 to abandon it in favor of the Faculty of Law and the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, which he attended in parallel .
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 several art movements including the Surrealism, The New Realism and the Pataphysics until founding in 1951 with Sergio Dangelo and Gianni Dova The Nuclear Movement. 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. All 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.
In 1953, together with Asger Jorn, found the International movement for an imaginative Bauhaus, in dispute with the Ulm school Of Max Bill; in 1954 the two artists created the International meetings of ceramics ad Albisola Marina at the Mazzotti ceramicsin which they participated Lucio Fontana, Emilio Scanavino, Karel Appel, William Corneille, Roberto Matta, Aligi Sassu, Edward Jaguer.
In the fifties, Enrico Baj collaborates with avant-garde magazines The gesture, Good It is Phases. Over the years, the passion for writing increases, leading him to the publication of numerous books, among which Pataphysics, Automythobiography, Let's learn painting, Fantasy and reality with Guttuso, Ecology of art.
In 1957, Enrico Baj signs the manifesto Against style and holds his first solo show abroad, at the Gallery One from London. In 1959 he joined the Naples Manifesto. In 1962 he took part in the New York exhibition The Art of Assemblage, during which he met Duchamp.
Between 1963 and 1966 he spent a lot of time in Paris, where he joined the College of Pataphysics. In 1964 he obtained a personal room at the Venice Biennial and in the same year he exhibited at Milan Triennale.
Enrico Baj elaborates and composes his own works with extremely particular and unusual materials, such as wood, fabrics, plastic or even with 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 we live in. In fact, Enrico Baj usually represents his works as the mirror of a deformed reality, totally different from the one we usually see, since humanity has lost its shape, becoming a slave to appearance and technology.
In his works, the artist uses different techniques, engaging in dripping, In the collage, in the'inlay or even inveneer.
Among his most famous works that have marked the history of contemporary art we remember the series of generals grotesquely representing generals in service uniforms. Enrico Baj's interest in this topic stems precisely from the fact that the artist fully experienced the period of the Second World War, observing the destruction of the sense of humanity in its most complete form.
The funeral of the anarchist Pinelli it is a huge 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 ideologically side 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, the ties, made of a material by which the whole modern world is now invaded. It is a collection of works with a strong connotation of social criticism.
Also mannequins, together withEpater the robot, represent a very strong message of social criticism, in which Enrico Baj discusses society by now totally lost in the process of infinite progress, of which it is increasingly a slave and less a master.
In Tribal masks instead we 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 the unbridled progress, criticized by the artist in practically all of his works.
Enrico Baj died in Vergiate in the province of Varese in 2003.