Baj, Enrico

About The Artist

Enrico Baj was an Italian artist best known for his political collages, prints, paintings, and sculptures. His work was influenced by a variety of social and scientific themes, including nuclear warfare, the pseudo-philosophy ‘pataphysics, and human sexuality, which he explored through abstract, child-like imagery. “Enrico Baj is a very funny fellow,” New York Times critic John Russel said of the artist. “He has ruminated with great profit on facts of which we become daily more aware: that every human being is a battleground of opposites, for instance, and that the battle sways this way and that, rarely ending in a decisive victory for one side or the other.” Born on October 31, 1924, in Milan, Italy, Baj studied at the Brera Academy of Art and Milan University, where he obtained a law degree. Early in his artistic career, the artist engaged in political dissidence and created works that critiqued current affairs. Along with artist Asger Jorn, he founded the Movimento Nucleare in 1951, a collection of artists who critiqued the use of nuclear power after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Baj also was associated with the European movement Cobra and worked alongside progressive artists and intellectuals, including novelist Umberto Eco, Yves Klein, and Marcel Duchamp. The artist died on June 15, 2003, in Vergiate, Italy, and his works can be found in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Tate Gallery in London, among others.
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