Francesca Wilmott: Hello, I’m Francesca Wilmott, Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Drawings and Prints here at MoMA. I helped to organize this exhibition, devoted to the work of Marcel Broodthaers, and it’s my pleasure to be your guide today.
Broodthaers was born in Belgium in 1924. He was a poet, who didn’t begin making visual art until the age of 40. During a 12-year period, he produced sculptures, films, books, and prints; created his own museum; and pioneered what we call installation art today.
You’re standing in one of Broodthaers’s installations right now—a group of prints, photographs, and a painting, displayed amongst a grove of palm trees. Broodthaers was fascinated by the idea of the exhibition itself, by how context changes the way we value and interpret art. He critiqued authority of all kinds, especially the museum, and he implored his audiences to question the very definition of art. I hope that you’ll find his work intriguing—it often contains many layers and can be whimsical and poetic.
Throughout the tour, we’ll be joined by MoMA curator, Christophe Cherix.
Christophe Cherix: I'm Christophe Cherix, The Robert Lehman Foundation Chief Curator of Drawings and Prints at The Museum of Modern Art. I’m the co-curator of this exhibition along with Manuel Borja-Villel. I'm pleased to be joining you today. I'll be reading from Marcel Broodthaers' poetry and writings and poetry and I hope you’ll have a wonderful visit.
Francesca Wilmott: In the next gallery, you’ll see Broodthaers’s first film along with his early writings and photographs. I’ll join you after that.