TARO NASU is pleased to announce Marcel Broodthaers’s solo exhibition “Works, Films and the complete editions & books”.
Born in Brussels 1924 and died in Köln 1976.
He is known as a leader of conceptual art. Although he started his career as a poet, he was impressed by surrealist art, and in 1964 he professed to had decided to become from a poet to an artist. Since then, he has expanded and evolved the realm of contemporary art by producing works with a critical spirit against the frameworks and conventions of the world surrounding art, using a variety of techniques such as painting, sculpture, and video. His enormous influence still shows no signs of abating. His selected exhibitions include “Marcel Broodthaers: Museum” (Kunsthaus Zurich, Zurich) 2023, “Marcel Broodthaers: Broodthaerskabinet” (S.M.A.K., Ghent) 2022, “Marcel Broodthaers: A Retrospective” (MoMA, New York) 2016, and in 2015, he participated in the special exhibition “All the world’s futures” at the 56th Venice Biennale.
The exhibition is a small retrospective of Marcel Broodthaers’s works which gathers all his editions and books (which is rare to have complete), including Le Corbeau et le Renard (from the 60s) and Voyage on the North Sea (from the 70s) with their respective films. This is an important aspect of his work, as a poet, the books and editions, as well as their layout, were entirely part of his artistic process.
Works from the 60s and 70s are also presented in the exhibition with a slide piece La Signature, Section XVIIe siècle (diptych), Le Rouge et Le Bleu, Décor, Un Jardin d’Hiver, alphabets avec palmier, Magnifique Peinture.
“Marcel Broodthaers put in plaster the last fifty copies of his last poetry book (Pense-Bête), with this gesture he confirmed in 1964 his farewell to the form of expression to which he had until then devoted himself and with which he signed in at the same time a pact with a universe (art) with opposing values. His “official” intrusion into the art world the same year in Brussels was accompanied by an invitation card on which he crudely announced: “I too wondered if I could not sell something and succeed in life.” Marcel Broodthaers is 40 years old. Until now, he has worked in all professions, from the most prosaic (mover, lecturer) to the most poetic (journalist, photographer and bookseller). But it is poetry which remains the common thread of his entire artistic life, even when he leaves the restricted domain of Poetry. Although he pays numerous homages to the poetry of Mallarmé and Baudelaire, his work remains crossed by the question of literature and the question of the book. From the end of the 1960s until his death in 1976, Broodthaers constituted a reference that was both decisive and marginal in contemporary art. He thus accompanies the adventure of conceptual art in an original way through his objects, his publications, his films, his installations and his general attitude. This is how M.B. became a sociologist, historian, art critic and even curator of the “collection” of the Musée d’Art Moderne Département des Aigles which would be the subject of the dozen exhibitions he organized between 1968 and 1972.”
(French art critic and curator)