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The Nuclear Movement

Related: Italy - Joe Colombo


Enrico Baj, Sergio Dangelo and Joe C. Colombo founded the Nuclear Movement in Milan, in 1951.

Enrico Baj

Enrico Baj Google gallery.

Enrico Baj (1924-June 2003) was an Italian artist and art writer. Many of his works show an obsession with nuclear war. He created prints, sculptures but especially collage. He was close to the surrealist and dada movements, and was later associated with pop art. As an author he has been described as a leading promoter of the avant-garde. He worked with Umberto Eco among other collaborators. He had a long interest in the pseudo-philosophy 'pataphysics.

He was born in Milan, into a wealthy family, but left Italy in 1944 having upset the authorities and to avoid conscription. He studied at the Milan University law faculty and the Brera Academy of Art.

In 1951 he founded the arte nucleare movement with Sergio Dangelo, which unlike the abstract art was overtly political. Baj himself was aligned with the anarchist movement. His most well-known pieces are probably he series of "Generals": absurd characters made from found objects such as belts or medals.

He made numerous works using motifs from other artists, from da Vinci to Picasso. Sometimes he recreated entire works of other painters.

In 1972 a major work, "Funeral Of The Anarchist Pinelli" is believed to have partially inspired the murder of the police officer who was holding Pinelli in custody. However his work continued to be polictical. In his last years he created a series of paintings in protest at the election of Silvio Berlusconi. He died in Vergiate, Italy. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enrico_Baj [Apr 2006]

Baj's work shows similarities with Jean Dubuffet, Roland Topor and the Cobra group. It has a grotesque quality. Baj has also collaborated with Paul Virilio in a book on art horror.

See also: Italian art - anarchism

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