Marcel Broodthaers

  • Born in 1924 in Brussels, Belgium; lived and worked in Brussels, Belgium/ Düsseldorf, Berlin, Germany/ London, UK; died in 1976 in Cologne, Germany.

Marcel Broodthaers worked mainly as poet until 1963, when, for the last twelve years of his life, he started producing a varied, elusive, for future generations of artists highly influential body of work. His practice can be linked with major trends and movements of 1960s and 1970s such as Pop Art or Conceptual Art, but above all, he playfully exposed the myth of museumsʼ neutrality, which instead is determined by rules and protocols towards which the arts automatically relate. From 1969, Broodthaers started setting up his own museum departments, which he showed in various exhibitions and institutions in Europe. His art generally explored the nature and meaning of language, word and image, and rhetoric, and encompasses poetry, writing, film, photography, slides, drawing, painting, and sculpture.

Broodthaersʼ work has been shown at Documenta 5 (1972; Kassel, Germany), 7 (1982), 10 (1997), and at the Venice Biennial (2015, 1980, 1978, and 1976; Italy). A recent retrospective was held at the Museum of Modern Art, New York(2016; USA)and traveled to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (2016; Madrid, Spain) ending at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (2017; Düsseldorf, Germany).

  • Entrance to the Exhibition (L’entrée de l’exposition), 1974
  • View of the entrance of the exhibition Catalogue-Catalogus, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels
  • Photo: Philippe De Gobert Copyright Estate Marcel Broodthaers