Marcel Broodthaers Pot of Mussels 1968

  • Not on view

The mussel shell is a common material in the artist's work. Here, he filled a shallow pan past its brim with the shells and paired them with an equally heaping bowl of painted wooden french fries. This combination is a witty nod to Broodthaers's heritage, as moules-frites (mussels and french fries) is generally considered the Belgian national dish. Moreover, in French, la moule (a mussel) is close in pronunciation and spelling to le moule (a cast or mold), a traditional device used by sculptors. By incorporating the shells into his sculpture, Broodthaers transformed a verbal pun into a visual one.

Gallery label from 2012.
Mussel shells with tinted resin in painted pot
5 7/8 x 13 x 9 13/16" (15 x 33 x 25 cm)
Partial gift of the Daled Collection and partial purchase through the generosity of Maja Oeri and Hans Bodenmann, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Agnes Gund, Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin, Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis, and Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley
Object number
Painting and Sculpture

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