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date: 25 February 2021

Baj, Enricolocked

(b Milan, Oct 31, 1924; d Vergiate, June 17, 2003).
  • Laural Weintraub

Extract

(b Milan, Oct 31, 1924; d Vergiate, June 17, 2003).

Italian painter, sculptor and collagist . He studied painting at the Accademia di Brera, Milan (1945–8), while also studying law at the university there. Although at first influenced by Matisse, in 1951 with Sergio Dangelo (b 1931) he founded Arte nucleare, which sought, through gestural means similar to Tachism, to express the precariousness of the post-war situation and to revive the avant-garde. Increasingly interested in impasto and surface textures, Baj produced his first collages and assemblages in 1955. In the Curious Couple (1956; Pittsburgh, PA, Carnegie) he combined torn fabric, paper, glass and oil paint in a rather tentative fashion to form the rough, massive puppet-like heads that recur in his work. Following a return to impasto surfaces in the Mountains series (1957–8), he combined texture and objets trouvés in his Generals series (1959–61). For example, in War Hero (collage, 1959; Chicago, IL, Mus. Contemp. A.) he used fabric, paper, ribbons and a medal. The ...

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