Enrico Baj

  • Born 1924 in Milan, Italy
  • Died 2003 in Vergiate, Italy
Enrico Baj was a central figure of the Italian neo-avant-garde. He was associated with Dada, Surrealism, art informel, CoBrA, and Arte Nucleare—a movement he co-founded with Sergio Dangelo (b. 1932). Baj was a critic of Italian fascism, fleeing to Geneva in 1944 to avoid conscription in the Italian army under Mussolini. After World War II, Baj returned to Milan, studying at both the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera (Brera Academy of Fine Arts, where he had begun his studies in 1938) and the law department at the Università degli Studi di Milano (University of Milan). At Brera, Baj was exposed to Abstract Expressionism. By 1955, Baj had begun to create collages, using ribbons, patterned fabrics and wallpapers, army decorations and furniture scraps to create kitsch satire. His best-known found-object series was his sharply critical “Generals.” In 1960 Baj’s work had its New York debut in the exhibition Surrealist Intrusion in the Enchanters’ Domain at D’Arcy Galleries, curated by Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968) and André Breton (1896–1966). Baj again collaborated with Duchamp on Homage to Marcel Duchamp, a reimagining of the Mona Lisa with the artist’s face, in 1965. In 1961, Baj was included in The Art of Assemblage at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and in 1964, he was featured in the Venice Biennale

Artworks by Enrico Baj in the exhibition