October 1, 2019 - Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp (M HKA) - Marcel Broodthaers: Soleil Politique
October 1, 2019

Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp (M HKA)

Marcel Broodthaers, fragment of Soleil Politique et fig.1 fig.2 fig.12 fig.0 fig.A, 1972. Diptych. Courtesy Estate Marcel Broodthaers.

Marcel Broodthaers
Soleil Politique
October 4, 2019–January 19, 2020

Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp (M HKA)
Leuvenstraat 32
2000 Antwerp

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The exhibition Soleil Politique, organised by the M HKA, is the first retrospective of the Belgian key artist Marcel Broodthaers in his own country for a decade. In recent years, Broodthaers' work has been on display in top museums as part of a travelling exhibition, organised by the MoMA and the Museo Reina Sofía. The M HKA however, consciously chooses to present this body of work as a project in its own right, just as it did before with artists Joseph Beuys and James Lee Byars. Soleil Politique focusses on Marcel Broodthaers from an Antwerp perspective, linked to Wide White Space Gallery. The exhibition aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the breadth of themes, media and presentation strategies Broodthaers engaged with. It will present, for the first time ever in our country, Décor: A conquest by Marcel Broodthaers (1975), a more than generous loan from the V–A–C Foundation. At the same time, the exhibition presents rarely exhibited works and documents that were discovered during the preliminary research.

Marcel Broodthaers, born in 1924 as the only son of a Flemish maître d'hôtel and a Walloon mother, is one of the giants in 20th century art history. Since his death in January 1976, people have tried to understand the complex, erudite and humorous artist that Broodthaers was. This fascination has yielded a rich discourse, an international representation of his work in important public collections and retrospective exhibitions.

The political dimension in Broodthaers' oeuvre often remains underexposed. Broodthaers does not make explicitly politically or socially engaged art, but he develops an oeuvre that reflects fundamentally on relationships. The exhibition takes its title from the diptych Soleil Politique et fig.1 fig.2 fig.12 fig.0 fig.A from 1972. To an existing educational depiction of the sun and some planets, Broodthaers adds the word 'politique' [political]. As if he asks where the real power in the universe lies. The earth is erased.

The exhibition is accompanied by an eponymous catalogue that, apart from highlighting the milestones in Broodthaers' oeuvre, also uncovers a number of lesser known sources that help contextualise his exhibitions in Antwerp. New texts are included: Anny De Decker on Marcel Broodthaers' exhibitions in the Wide White Space Gallery, Marie-Pascal Gildemyn on (the names of) persons in the work of Broodthaers, Hannah Brückmuller on La Banque (1964-1967) and Broodthaers' early performances, Lotte Beckwé on Isi Fiszman and la morale d’artiste! Ha! Ha!, introduced by an interview with Maria Gilissen-Broodthaers by Yola Minatchy and a text by Bart De Baere.

Curatorial team: Lotte Beckwé, Bart De Baere, Liliane Dewachter, Maria Gilissen-Broodthaers and Marie-Puck Broodthaers.

Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp (M HKA)
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