January 25, 2008 - MK Gallery - Marcel Broodthaers
January 25, 2008

Marcel Broodthaers

Grande Casserole de Moules, 1966. Courtesy SMAK, Ghent.
Copyright Broodthaers Estate.

26 January – 30 March 2008

900 Midsummer Boulevard
Central Milton Keynes MK9 3QA
T: +44 1908 676 900
info [​at​] mk-g.org


Milton Keynes Gallery presents the most comprehensive exhibition in the UK by the renowned Belgian artist Marcel Broodthaers (1924–1976) since his Tate Gallery retrospective nearly thirty years ago. Broodthaers was a poet, photographer, film-maker and artist and throughout his career challenged the role of the artwork, the artist and the art institution. This exhibition has been conceived and developed by Milton Keynes Gallery with the support of the Broodthaers Estate. This will be the only venue in the UK for the exhibition, which runs from 26 January – 30 March 2008.

Considered to be one of the most important artists of the last century, the exhibition explores the diversity of Broodthaers’ practice including books, editions, objects, projections and paintings and features several works never seen in the UK before, including his first ‘artwork’, Pense Bête, 1964, which addresses his enduring concerns about form and language and the construction of meaning.

The exhibition includes Miroir d’Epoque Regency, 1973 from arguably the artist’s most significant passage of work, Museum d’Art Moderne, Département d’Aigles. This comprised twelve different ‘sections’ and was founded with the 19th century section in his Brussels house in 1968. The mirror reflects the gallery and viewer back on themselves, questioning the role of the institution and the visitor within it. The exhibition also includes examples of his renowned shell works – mussels and eggs – as in Grande Casserole de Moules, 1966 and 289 Coquilles d’Oeufs, 1966. The egg and mussel shell become a recurrent symbol in Broodthaers’ work as a means of questioning the social function of the artwork. With characteristic wit and insight Broodthaers announced ‘Everything is eggs. The world is eggs’.


A book with contributions by co-curators Barry Barker, Maria Gillisen and Michael Stanley will be published to accompany the exhibition.

Focus on Marcel Broodthaers (supported by The Open University)
Artists in Conversation
Thursday 21 February, 7-8pm
Artists John Murphy, Keith Wilson and Richard Woods discuss the influence of Broodthaers’ work on theirs and others’ practices with exhibition co-curator Barry Barker
Marcel Broodthaers Panel Discussion
Thursday 13 March, 7-8pm
Michael Archer, Head of the Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art, University of Oxford will chair a discussion between exhibition co-curator Barry Barker, art historian Deborah Schultz and Frank Maes of SMAK, Ghent about Marcel Broodthaers’ work.

The exhibition is generously supported by SMAK, Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent; Eurostar; The Henry Moore Foundation and the Broodthaers Estate.

MK Gallery
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