Marcel Broodthaers (Marcel Broodthaers)

Marcel Broodthaers

Artist. Marcel was more than an artist, from a young age he was associated with the Groupe Surréaliste-revolutionnaire. In 1945 he began dabbling in journalism, film, and poetry. After spending 20 years struggling as a poet, Marcel decided in 1963 to become an artist and began to make objects. He approached visual art with a somewhat sarcastic and subversive attitude, originally treating it as a kind of ironic, comical venture. He performed the symbolic act of embedding fifty unsold copies of his book of poems Pense-Bête in plaster, creating his first art object. By borrowing methods from Pop Art and Conceptual Art, among other genres and movements, Marcel was able to appropriate them for his own artistic objectives. 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 sense of tension between poverty and the mass production and consumption associated with big business and capitalism. Additionally, Marcel created a series of temporary exhibitions or installations known as Décors, for which he is best known. He made his first film in 1957, and from 1967 he produced over 50 short films in documentary, narrative, and experimental styles. From 1968 to 1975 he produced large-scale environmental pieces that reworked the very notion of the museum. His most noted work was an installation which began in his Brussels house which he called Musée d’Art Moderne, Départment des Aigles (1968). This installation was followed by a further eleven manifestations of the ‘museum’, including at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf for an exhibition in 1970 and at documenta 5 in Kassel in 1972. 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. From late 1969, Marcel lived mainly in Düsseldorf, Berlin, and finally London. He died in Cologne, Germany. His tomb stone is “rector-verso.” (bio by: Shock) Cause of death: Liver disease


  • January, 28, 1924
  • Belgium


  • January, 01, 1976
  • Germany

Cause of Death

  • Liver disease


  • Ixelles Communal Cemetery
  • Belgium

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