Broodthaers, a key figure in the development of Conceptual art in Europe, was a poet before he turned to visual art at age forty. He often mined his literary inclinations in works that centered on text and typography and made verbal and visual puns, regularly issued in the form of artist's books. He used his practice to question the conventional definition of art, critiquing the commercialization of art and artworks' status as commodities.
Tractatus Logico–Catalogicus consists of the reprint, in negative, of twelve pages of a book previously published by the artist, MTL (L'art comme art de vendre) (Art as the Art of Selling). The plates were printed on a single sheet of paper as they came off the printing press, before being cut and assembled.
Gallery label from Book/Shelf, March 26–July 7, 2008.