Marcel Broodthaers: Industrial Poems
The Complete Catalogue of the Plaques 1968–1972
Manuel Borja-Villel, Charlotte Friling, Dirk Snauwaert
Hatje Cantz, 2021
Marcel Broodthaers‘s work is characterized by a complex exploration of the relationship of text and image. This catalogue raisonné, prepared by WIELS and developed in close collaboration with the Marcel Broodthaers Succession, is the first to include all of the Belgian conceptual artist’s industrial poems created between 1968 and 1972. Borrowing from the aesthetics of industrially manufactured plastic signs, Broodthaers’s multi-layered, often enigmatic pictorial poems testify to his interest in the entanglements of language, punctuation, and symbols. In blurring the boundaries between word and image, painting and object, new levels of meaning are made visible. The index is supplemented by a collection of Broodthaers’s drawings, writings and “open letters” as well as scholarly contributions that position the poems as a crucial group of works within the artist’s oeuvre.
Marcel Broodthaers (1924–1976) developed his poèmes industriels simultaneously to his seminal work, the Musée d’Art Moderne, Département des Aigles. They form an important element in the development of his fictional museum, a central work of institutional critique.