Museum in Motion - Marcel Broodthaers


M HKA, Antwerp

16 September 2022 - 08 January 2023

Marcel Broodthaers

Marcel Broodthaers (1924−1976) is one of the most intriguing artists of the twentieth century. Since his death, many people have attempted to understand the complex, erudite and humorous artist that Broodthaers was. Broodthaers used poetry to question conventions, in an attempt to resist every political system that sees the creation of symbols as its central goal. He understood better than anyone that the art world would not escape this fate either. His work explains that whatever is considered the ‘natural order’ of things at a given time is always the result of political practices and therefore excludes other possibilities. Broodthaers reminds us that the world could always have been different.

In 1966, Broodthaers had his first exhibition at the seminal Wide White Space Gallery in Antwerp. The title of the exhibition betrayed what was on display: Moules OEufs Frites Pots Charbon. Pop art was the language of young artists, and Broodthaers was well aware of it. In 1967, however, he did something that artists from the United States could not do with such conviction: he made pop clash with the history of European literature, the sentimental commodities that he was so familiar with as a book dealer in Brussels. The resulting publication, Le Corbeau et le Renard, was shown at Wide White Space in 1968 as an intricate installation. Wide White Space organised five more solo exhibitions with Broodthaers.

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