Marcel Broodthaers


Born in 1924 in Saint-Gilles (Belgium), died in 1976

Marcel Broodthaers has developed a caustic, poetic, singular oeuvre. Initially close to the Belgian surrealists that he used to associate with, his work gradually grew away from the influence of the great movements of the period. His experiments, particularly linguistic, produced ambitious and parodic forms: installations made from many occurrences that question the taxonomies specific to the notion of museum and the art world.

In La Pluie (projet pour un texte) [Rain (project for a text)] (1969), Marcel Broodthaers writes under gushing water that washes away the ink of the words. The disappearance of the text even before it can attach itself to the paper, the ridiculousness of a task that is utterly impossible in the face of the elements, along with a black-and-white image that trembles as much as the hand of the artist, add up to a metaphor for a poet's place and the fluidity of their words in the world. The tone is both melancholy and abstract.

Collection Centre Pompidou, Paris - Musée national d’art moderne


©Estate Marcel Broodthaers

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