Marcel Broodthaers (Belgian, 1976)

As a painter, sculptor, print maker, poet, and filmmaker, Marcel Broodthaers (Belgian, 1924–1976) was an influential artist across a variety of disciplines and media. Beginning in 1964, he approached visual art with a somewhat sarcastic and subversive attitude, originally treating it as a kind of ironic, comical venture. However, having been featured in more than 70 solo exhibitions, Broodthaers established an artistic strategy of far-reaching influence. By borrowing methods from Pop Art and Conceptual Art, among other genres and movements, Broodthaers was able to appropriate them for his own artistic objectives. Incorporating themes of satire, metonymy, and tautology, his work is playfully cerebral. One of his well-known works, Casserole and Closed Mussels (1965), was crafted from found objects, such as household items, eggshells, and, as the title indicates, mussels, and conveys the sense of tension between poverty and the mass production and consumption associated with big business and capitalism. Additionally, Broodthaers created a series of temporary exhibitions or installations known as Décors, for which he is best known. His innovative use of all types of materials and media solidified his legacy as an artist who successfully demonstrated the intertwining of art, media, and culture.

Timeline

1924
Born January 28 in Brussels
1945
First known publication of poems
1947
Cosignatory of the Belgian Surrealist manifesto "Pas de quartiers dans la revolution"; Works as freelance writer in Brussels, deals in antiquarian books
1957
Publication of his first poetry book "Mon livre d'Ogre" and the first film "La Clef de l'Horloge, un poème cinematographique" (in honor of Kurt Schwitters)
1962–1963
Moves to Paris, works as a freelance journalist, returns to Brussels
1964
Creates first objects using mussels, eggshells, black coal, bricks et al; In the following years, other publications and expansion of his artistic work on several media like film, photography, audiotapes and slides
1967
Film "Le Corbeau et le Renard"
1968
Starts a series of prints from vacuum-shaped plastic
1969
Foundation of the "Musée d'Art Moderne, Département des Aigles" in his home, Rue de la Pépinière, Brussels. Presentation of several sections of the "Musée d'Art Moderne, Département des Aigles" as discussion of the term museum and its function
1970
Moves to Duesseldorf
1972
Last section and ending of the "Musée d'Art Moderne, Département des Aigles" as contribution to documenta 5 in Kassel
1973
Moves to London
1974–1975
Stay in Berlin in the context of DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service); Between september 1974 and october 1975 series of six big solo exhibitions, where Broodthaers specifies and sums up his concept of art/work
1976
Marcel Broodthaers dies on January 28 in Cologne

Exhibitions

2010
Marcel Broodthaers. Section Cinéma, Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, USA
2009
1968. Die große Unschuld, Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany (group)
2009
Matthew Brannon, Marcel Broodthaers, James Lee Byars, William E. Jones, David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles
2008
Marcel Broodthaers, Milton Keynes Gallery, Milton Keynes, UK
2008
Serial Works on Paper, “Series Drawings”, Michael Werner Gallery, New York
2008
Marcel Broodthaers, Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago, “Ombres”, New Galerie de France, Paris
2007
Décor – A conquest by Marcel Broodthaers, Michael Werner. Une saison à Paris 2007, Galerie de France, Paris and Michael Werner Gallery, New York
2003
Marcel Broodthaers, Die Photographische Sammlung / SK Stiftung Kultur der Stadtsparkasse Köln
2003
Marcel Broodthaers, Kunsthalle Wien
2001
Marcel Broodthaers, Palais des Beaux Arts de Bruxelles, Brüssel
1999
Marcel Broodthaers. Das Gesamtwerk der Graphik und Bücher, Galerie Michael Werner, Köln
1997
Marcel Broodthaers. Cinéma, Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona, (weiter nach Düsseldorf)
1997
Marcel Broodthaers: En lisant la Lorelei, Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain, Genf
1997
Marcel Broodthaers. Cinéma, Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela, (Folge aus Düsseldorf, weiter nach Berlin)
1993
Marcel Broodthaers - Diawerken: 'Projection', 1971, 'Images d'Epinal', 1974, van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven
1992
Marcel Broodthaers, Kunstraum München e.V., München
1992
Institute of Contemporary Art, London
1992
Marcel Broodthaers. Slide projections, Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum
1992
Marcel Broodthaers. Complete Prints and Multiples, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London
1989
DAAD Galerie. Berlin, "Marcel Broodthaers - Le Cadran S(c)olaire. Édition des Amateurs, Berlin 1974"
1989
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, "Marcel Broodthaers" (Wanderausstellung: Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brüssel)
1988
Galerie Watari, Tokio, "Marcel Broodthaers"
1987
Florizoone Fine Art, Nieuwpoort
1987
Le Cadre Gallery, Hong Kong
1987
Marcel Broodthaers in Zuid-Limburg. Foto's 1961 – 1970, Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht
1985
Galerie der Stadt Linz; Wolfgang-Gurlitt-Museum, Linz, "Marcel Broodthaers: Fotografische Bildnisse"
1985
Oesterreichisches Fotoarchiv, Museum Moderner Kunst, Wien
1985
Kulturhaus der Stadt Graz, Graz
1982
Kunsthalle Bern
1981
Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam
1981
Musée Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brüssel
1980
Wallraf-Richartz-Museum/Museum Ludwig, Köln
1979
Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Gent
1979
Kunstverein Hamburg
1978
Marian Goodman Gallery, New York
1977
The Tate Gallery, London
1975
Nationalgalerie Berlin
1975
Museum of Modern Art, Oxford
1975
Kunsthalle Düsseldorf
1975
Centre National d'Art et de Culture, Paris
1974
Petersburg Press, London
1974
Palais des Beaux-Arts und Cinéma d'Arensburg, Brüssel
1974
Kunstmuseum Basel
1973
Galerie Francoise Lambert, Mailand
1970
1. Exposition littéraire et musicale autour de Mallarmé, 2. Carte politique du Monde, Galerie Michael Werner, Köln
1969
Galerie Michael Werner, Köln
1968
Wide White Space Gallery, Antwerpen
1968
Galerie Rudolf Zwirner, Köln
1967
Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brüssel
1964
Galerie Saint-Laurent, Brüssel
1964
Galerie Smith, Brüssel
1964
Parc du Mont des Arts, Brüssel