Enrico Baj

Enrico Baj

Enrico Baj (October 31st, 1924 – June 15th, 2003) was born in Milan into a wealthy family, but he left Italy in 1944 after having upset the authorities and to avoid conscription. He attended the law faculty at the University of Milan and the Brera Academy of Art. In 1951 he founded the arte nucleare movement with Sergio Dangelo, which was overtly political unlike abstract art. Baj was aligned with the anarchist movement. His most well-known pieces are probably the series of “Generals”: absurd characters made up with found objects such as belts or medals. He made numerous works using motifs from other artists, from Leonardo da Vinci to Picasso. Sometimes he recreated entire works of other painters. In 1972 the public display of one of his major works “Funeral of the Anarchist Pinelli” (a reference to Carlo Carrà’s famous painting The Funeral of the Anarchist Galli of 1911) was banned after the murder of the police officer believed to be responsible for Giuseppe Pinelli’s death in custody. However his work continued to be political. In 1989 he designed thirty marionettes for Le bleu-blanc-rouge et le noir, an opera by Italian composer Lorenzo Ferrero to a libretto by Anthony Burgess, which had been written for the bicentenary of the French Revolution. He died in Vergiate, Italy.