Friends of Magritte:Marcel Broodthaers

Thursday, April 16, 2009 7:46:02 PM

Friends of Magritte: Marcel Broodthaers


Broodthaers started out as a poet. When copies of his book Pense-Bête didn't sell, he cast a bunch of them in plaster and declared himself a visual artist. It worked out. So, you know, there's hope. Here's two short Bios:


The Pipe- 1969

Marcel Broodthaers 1924-1976: Belgian poet, photographer, film-maker and artist. Born in Brussels. Began as a poet and aged 16-17 had some contacts with the Belgian Surrealists, especially Magritte, who gave him a copy of Mallarm-23's Un Coup de D-23s. (Magritte's paintings with words, in which there is a contradiction between the painted word and the painted object, were later a crucial influence on him). Started in 1958 to publish articles illustrated with his own photographs.

At the end of 1963 decided to become an artist and began to make objects. First one-man exhibition at the Galerie St Laurent, Brussels, 1964. Exhibited everyday objects, words, lettering, child-like drawings etc., often with verbal-visual puns; made books, catalogues, prints on everything from canvases attached to the wall to reliefs in plastic. Made his first film in 1957 and from 1967 a number of short films. In 1968 established a 'Museum of Modern Art' of postcards of paintings and packing cases in his house in Brussels, followed by various other installation-structures. From late 1969 lived mainly in D-4sseldorf, Berlin and finally London. Died in Cologne.

Bio on Wiki:

Marcel Broodthaers (January 28, 1924 – January 28, 1976) was a Belgian poet, filmmaker and artist with a highly literate and often witty approach to creating art works.

He was born in Brussels, Belgium, where he was associated with the Groupe Surréaliste-revolutionnaire from 1945 and dabbled in journalism, film, and poetry. After spending 20 years in poverty as a struggling poet[1], he performed the symbolic act of embedding fifty unsold copies of his book of poems Pense-Bête in plaster, creating his first art object. That same year, 1964, for his first exhibition, he wrote a famous preface for the exhibition catalogue;

"I, too, wondered whether I could not sell something and succeed in life. For some time I had been no good at anything. I am forty years old... Finally the idea of inventing something insincere finally crossed my mind and I set to work straightaway. At the end of three months I showed what I had produced to Philippe Edouard Toussaint, the owner of the Galerie St Laurent. 'But it is art' he said 'and I will willingly exhibit all of it.' 'Agreed' I replied. If I sell something, he takes 30%. It seems these are the usual conditions, some galleries take 75%. What is it? In fact it is objects." Broodthaers, 1964[2]

He worked principally with assemblies of found objects and collage, often containing written texts. His most noted work was an installation in his Brussels house which he called Musée d'Art Moderne, Départment des Aigles (1968). This installation was followed by a further eleven manifestations of the 'museum', including at the Düsseldorf Kunsthalle for an exhibition in 1970 and at documenta 5 in Kassel in 1972. For such works he is associated with the late 20th century global spread of both installation art, as well as "institutional critique," in which interrelationships between artworks, the artist, and the museum are a focus.

Broodthaers died in Cologne, Germany on his 52nd birthday.

 

 

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