Baj. Libri in libertà
03.05 2024 - 06.07 2024
Sala Maria Teresa

Baj. Libri in libertà

The Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense and the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, in close collaboration with the Archivio Baj in Vergiate, are jointly organising an exhibition celebrating Enrico Baj in the year of the 100th anniversary of his birth.


One hundred years after the birth of Enrico Baj (Milan, 1924 – Vergiate, 2003) an exhibition at the Braidense Library organised with the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, in collaboration with the Baj Archive, presents a rich selection of artist’s books spanning his entire career. A unique exhibition on the great Milanese painter and sculptor who throughout his activity moved “between anarchy and ‘Pataphysics’, antagonism and surreality, play and commitment”.

Curated by Angela Sanna, Michele Tavola and Marina Zetti.

Edouard Jaguer, Enrico Baj

<em>Edouard Jaguer</em>, Enrico Baj
 Edizioni Schettini, Milano - New York 1956
 Provenienza: Archivio Baj, Vergiate; Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense, Milano

The exhibition, which is one of the main initiatives to celebrate this important anniversary, presents as many as twenty-six artist’s books of the approximately fifty-six produced by Baj during his lifetime. The works on display come mainly from the Baj Archive, but there are also volumes conserved in the Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense and the Biblioteca d’Arte Contemporanea “Guido Ballo” of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera.


Braidense National Library, Maria Teresa Room
(double entrance from the Braidense Library and the Brera Art Gallery)


3.5 – 6.7 2024


Free entrance without reservation

  • Mondays: 9.30 a.m. – 6 p.m. (access only from the Library, last entrance at 5.30 p.m.);
  • Tuesday to Friday: 9.30 a.m. – 6 p.m. (last admission 5.30 p.m.);
  • Saturdays: 9.30 a.m. – 6 p.m. (from 1.30 p.m. entrance and exit from the Art Gallery only, last entrance at 5.30 p.m.);
  • Sunday: 9.30 a.m. – 6 p.m. (access only from the Art Gallery, last entrance at 5.30 p.m.).

– For guided tours of the exhibition for young people and adults click here
– For guided tours of the exhibition for schools write to [email protected] specifying the year of attendance, the number of students and a range of possible dates for the tour
Click here to discover all meetings and conferences

The exhibition explores this fundamental section of Baj’s production starting from the first volumes created in the 1950s, first and foremost De Rerum Natura, from 1958, up to the last one, Sull’acqua, published in 2003. This path will highlight his fertile relationship with literature and in particular with poetry, which has always been among his main interests and has constantly inspired his work. Both his “long-distance dialogue” with the great authors of the past, from Lucretius to Martial to Lewis Carroll, and his work in close contact with international writers, poets and critics such as André Breton and Raymond Queneau will thus be highlighted,
André Pieyre de Mandiargues, Benjamin Péret, Jean-Clarence Lambert, Jorge Luis Borges, Édouard Jaguer, Joyce Mansour, Yvon Taillandier.
Alongside these will also be prominent Italian authors such as Edoardo Sanguineti, Alda Merini, Roberto Sanesi, Guido Ballo and Giovanni Giudici.

Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense, Sala Maria Teresa

Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense, Sala Maria Teresa



Curated by Angela Sanna, Michele Tavola, Marina Zetti, Scalpendi Editore, p. 240

catalogo Baj edito da scalpendi

Enrico Baj, in his art, captures the most grotesque and ironic aspects of the society that was contemporary with him, that second twentieth century so dense with contradictions after the end of the war, tragically sanctioned with the explosion of the atomic bomb, and the decades that followed in which the consumerism of the economic boom was counterbalanced by the socialist utopia.
The artist’s books – exhibited in the extraordinary spaces of the Braidense in an exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of the artist’s birth – exemplify Baj’s creativity, which was expressed at the highest level even in a genre, wrongly considered minor, such as graphics. And in which instead the artist applied himself with his usual playful seriousness, impetus and passion, producing some small masterpieces.


To view or download the digital version of the paper brochure of the exhibition, made available to visitors by the Library, click here.

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