1924 – 1976
As a painter, sculptor, printmaker, poet, and filmmaker, Marcel Broodthaers (Belgian, 1924–1976) was an influential artist across a variety of disciplines and media. Beginning in 1964, he approached visual art with a somewhat sarcastic and subversive attitude, originally treating it as a kind of ironic, comical venture. However, having been featured in more than 70 solo exhibitions, Broodthaers established an artistic strategy of far-reaching influence. By borrowing methods from Pop Art and Conceptual Art, among other genres and movements, Broodthaers was able to appropriate them for his own artistic objectives. Incorporating themes of satire, metonymy, and tautology, his work is playfully cerebral. One of his well-known works, Casserole and Closed Mussels (1965), was crafted from found objects, such as household items, eggshells, and, as the title indicates, mussels, and conveys the tension between poverty and the mass production and consumption associated with big business and capitalism. Additionally, Broodthaers created a series of temporary exhibitions, or installations known as Décors, for which he is best known. His innovative use of all types of materials and media solidified his legacy as an artist who successfully demonstrated the intertwining of art, media, and culture.