Marcel Broodthaers: A Retrospective

*Triomphe de moule I (Triumph of mussel I)*

Marcel Broodthaers. Triomphe de moule I (Triumph of mussel I). 1965 65301

Marcel Broodthaers (Belgian, 1924–1976). Triomphe de moule I (Triumph of mussel I). 1965. Painted pot, mussel shells, and tinted resin, 18 3/4 × 19 5/8 × 15″ (47.6 × 49.8 × 38.1 cm). Philadelphia Museum of Art. Gift (by exchange) of Mr. and Mrs. R. Sturgis Ingersoll and Mrs. Herbert Cameron Morris, 1997. Image courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art. Photograph by Graydon Wood. © 2016 Estate of Marcel Broodthaers/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SABAM, Brussels

*8Francesca:** Mussel shells appeared frequently in Broodthaers’s early work. In French, the wordfor mussel—_moule_—also means “mold,” a container used to shape something. So for Broodthaers, in a way the mussel becomes a symbol of potential. He conjured these associations in a poem.

Broodthaers, Christophe Cherix:
“The Mussel”

This artful thing has avoided society’s mold.
She has slipped into her own.
Others, resembling her, share [with] her [the] anti-sea.
She is perfect.

Francesca: Mussel shells also referred to Broodthaers’s Belgian identity. Moules-frites are like the burger and fries of Belgium, a kind of national food.

“The Mussel” from Marcel Broodthaers, _Pense-B ê te_, 1963-64, reprinted in the catalogue, p. 117

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