Marcel Broodthaers was born in 1924 in Brussels and died in 1976 in Cologne, Germany. Broodthaers was a poet and bookseller until age 40, a period he spent in poverty. In 1964 he turned to ‘Conceptual Art’ by creating a sculptural work composed of 50 unsold copies of one of his poetry books, Pense-Bête, in plaster. Marcel Broodthaers later became known for paradoxial word – image juxtapositions, as well as large-scale installations made in part with eggshells, mussel shells and household goods. He also created paintings, films, performances, and sound pieces.
Broodthaers is a key figure in the Conceptual Art, in which the concept(s) or idea(s) involved in the work takes precedence over traditional aesthetic and material concerns. Broodthaers’ work is characterised by reflections on art, the artist, the museum, the signature, the essence of art, uniqueness and reproducibility, art and money and the context in which the work operates.
Broodthaers’ printed work consists of 25 individual editions, several in diptych format, and 20 artist’s books, mostly created to function as part of his Conceptual projects rather than merely explorations of printmaking techniques.
An overview of Broodthaers’ prints can be found in 2 catalogues:
Marcel Broodthaers. Het volledig grafisch werk en de boeken published by Galerie Jos Jamar.
Marcel Broodthaers Katalog der Editionen Graphik und Bücher / Catalogue of the Editions Prints and Books / Catalogue des Editions L’Oeuvre graphique et les Livres published by Cantz Verlag, Germany.