Animated Cabinet, Stefano Bini from Enrico Baj, 1990


A piece of furniture created by Stefano Bini from a work made by Enrico Baj in 1961.
The cabinet, a bedside table with drawers, faithfully reproduces the collage work (inlaid fabric objects on board) of the same title but three-dimensionally.

Dimensions: height 135 cm, width 105 cm, depth 55 cm

CODE: Dimensions: height 135 cm, width 105 cm, depth 55 cm

Enrico Baj’s predilection for collages began in the 1950s, when a new tendency towards fairy-tale-grotesque production and an inevitable and consequent polymaterism took hold. Baj began to explore the technique of collage and the possibilities offered by Vinavil and materials such as fabric, wadding and glass, which were the elements of the first collages destined to change the course of his painting.
Accumulating for decades materials of all kinds, which he sought out in his wanderings at Porta Portese, Portobello Road, and above all at the Flea Markets. Baj then produced works of assemblages often marked by combinatory, unconscious, playful, desecratory surrealism.

If at first Baj had set out to show with collage that the things we see are other things, to reveal the multiple meanings of reality inherent in each object, making unusual compositions from scraps with a different meaning than the material he used. When he began to take an interest in furniture, after an initial grotesque vision of them, he returned to seeing and thinking of them only as furniture, placed in their reality. He recognized that they cannot be anything other than what they are, in spite of any grotesque or fantastic exterior appearance he might give them.

“Baj’s furniture does not reflect us, it is not metaphors, symbols or even ideas. They are furniture. Free, eternally alien, with nothing inside. Pure exteriority” [from ” I mobili di Enrico Baj, Octavio Paz, Paris October 1961 ,in Baj “Mobili e boiseries” 1960-1962 – Milan 1989].

It was with this concept in mind that Stefano Bini, – the architect who created the Pierre Cardin brand in the 1970s, designing all the brand’s shops and structures around the world until the 1980s, and who often collaborated with Enrico Baj -, wished to give concrete life to the animated Furniture, creating, with the artist’s authorisation, a series of eight examples, faithful three-dimensional reproductions of the master’s works.

The authenticity of the work is endorsed by the Marconi Foundation (the original certificate has unfortunately disappeared), which confirms that it belongs to the series of eight specimens.


Enrico Baj  le trame del tempo, a cura di Marisa Zattini testo critico di Janus con una lirica di Alda Merini, Il Vicolo divisione libri, 2000.

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