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Manuscript and typescript, dated February 1963, of a preface devoted to the work of Enrico Baj for an exhibition in 1964, which had been planned as early as 1962.

‘Joy’ and ‘dynamism’: the work of the Italian artist Baj, brought to Breton’s attention by Édouard Jaguer on the occasion of the EROS exhibition in 1959, carries an exceptional force reminiscent of the great visionaries of nature such as Lucretius and Cyrano. In 1962, the painter, collaborating on book with Péret, asked Breton for a preface, who agreed and read out his text in the presence of the group at the café La Promenade de Vénus in early 1963. The book was published in 1964, and Breton's preface was included in the final edition of Surrealism and Painting in 1965. [Atelier André Breton website, 2005]

Signed autograph manuscript and typescript, Paris, 10 February 1963.​​​​​​​
- 2 pages 1/2 in-4°, folioed, first draft manuscript titled in red, dated, and signed in ink with erasures and corrections by Breton of this text dedicated to the painter Enrico Baj.
- 5 pages in-4° typescript of the final version of this text:
"We are indebted to Enrico Baj for having, a few years ago, captured a fabulous being and made him appear before us [...]. This fabulous being started out in 1955 with no more than the ringing of a bell as the declaration of his identity [...] before revealing his origin [...] and defining himself as Ultrabody (1958). [...] known by psychological term of ‘tadpole’. However, the ‘ultrabody’ is the exact opposite of the ‘tadpole’, since the former has the appearance of a biped only from the waist down, with a face emerging from the abdominal region between the navel and the pubis, though nevertheless remaining gendered. [...]
"From Baj's intentions, fear would seem to have been the initial motivation, given that twelve years ago it was he who conceived the ‘Nuclear Movement’ and founded it, with pure intuition, upon the most precise historical context. [...]
"It is undoubtedly the child within each of us that is most horribly wounded today. The fact that not only is the child’s physical existence threated today but also its very essence, this is the worst scandal of all, and, being so affected by this, Baj could do no less than to launch an open attack upon it." [Sale Catalogue, 2003]


André Breton, « Enrico Baj », L'Œil, juillet-août 1963, p. 34-39.

André Breton (Édition publiée sous la direction d'Étienne-Alain Hubert avec la collaboration de Philippe Bernier et Marie-Claire Dumas), « Enrico Baj », Le Surréalisme et la peinture, Œuvres complètes, tome IV, Écrits sur l'art et autres textes, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, Paris, Gallimard, 2008, p. 822 (ill.)-829, notes p. 1383-1385.


Creation date10-févr.-63
Bibliographical material

2 pages 1/2 in-4°
5 pages in-4° typescript

Physical descriptionTs et Ms - encre bleue
Number of pages2 p. - 5 p.
Breton Auction, 2003Lot 2512
Keywords, , ,
CategoriesManuscripts, Andre Breton's Manuscripts
Set[Breton's Manuscripts and Drawings] dossier Le Surréalisme et la peinture, [AB's Manuscripts] Manuscripts 1958-1966
ExhibitionRéunions du groupe à La Promenade de Vénus
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