Enrico Baj

The New Yorker, December 21, 2015

The Milanese firebrand, whose Arte Nucleare movement of the fifties aimed kitsch and satire at a world shadowed by atomic weapons, thought seriously and painted otherwise. This essential  show opens with a wonderful two-part mural from 1971, festooned with ribbons and fabric scraps, a cheeky update of Seurat’s famous “Sunday on La Grande Jatte” (a child by the lake is now framed by a shock of blue hair). Upstairs are earlier forays into burlesque and bad taste, including modifications of cheesy thrift-store paintings: curvaceous nudes and lakeside villages beset by aliens and flying-saucer invasions. The most surprising works here are flat assemblages depicting furniture. Don’t be misled by their melancholic appearance—they’re a perverse breed of zombie, created with elements salvaged from actual chests of drawers. Through Dec. 23.