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Inactualité de l'art et pataphysique suivi du Manuel de survieLimited edition

Enrico Baj - Inactualité de l\'art et pataphysique suivi du Manuel de survie
Unpublished text, signed original artwork, unique for each copy
Limited edition of 275 numbered and signed copies.
Born into a middle-class Milanese family, Enrico Baj (1924–2003) began rejecting authority from a very young age. After studying medicine and law, he then studied at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts from 1945 to 1948. His early interest was in Tachisme, a European painting movement seen as analogous to American abstract expressionism. An anarchist by nature, he opposed the stylistic canons of art. In 1950, together with the surrealist painter Sergio Dangelo (Milan, 1932–2022), Baj founded the Nuclear Art (Arte Nucleare) movement, considered the Italian equivalent of CoBrA (1948–1951). This highly political engagement – opposing art to the now threatening human environment – aimed to atomise pictorial forms. In their manifesto, published in 1952, they stated: "Nuclear artists want to break all the "isms" of a painting that inevitably falls into academicism, whatever its genesis. They want to and can reinvent painting." The movement brought together international artists such as Yves Klein, Arman, and the Danish painter Asger Jorn, who, two years later, while living in Italy, joined forces with Baj to found the International Movement for an Imaginist Bauhaus (1953–1954) along with Pierre Alechinsky and Karel Appel, encouraging artists to go beyond the boundaries of their original discipline to consider the role of art in the atomic age. Baj was a self-proclaimed "pataphysicist" and follower of this "science of imaginary solutions which symbolically grants to lineaments the properties of objects described by their virtuality," according to the definition of Alfred Jarry, inventor of the philosophy. Baj thus abandoned gestural abstraction in the mid-1950s to develop a very personal practice of carnivalesque painting with a deliberately kitsch aesthetic, aiming to overturn the bourgeois conventions of "good taste." From 1955 onwards, he used collage to introduce prefabricated elements such as buttons, trimmings and other ordinary items, featuring these everyday symbols in an imaginary pictorial environment. Although Baj's works tend towards the absurd, they also fit with the socio-political context of the time. They are, in this sense, witnesses to their time. In 1957 Baj joined Arman, Klein, Manzoni, and Restany in signing the manifesto The End of Style, in which they asserted the uniqueness of the work of art.
published in 1998
French edition
12,5 x 21 cm (softcover, dust jacket)
48 pages + inserted artwork
ISBN : 978-2-902462-50-6
EAN : 9782902462506
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