Between 1968 and 1972 Broodthaers made a series of vacuum-formed plastic reliefs, each of which was industrially fabricated, painted by commercial craftsmen, and realized in two versions (with opposing color palettes). The artist called them "Industrial Poems," alluding to their manufacture as well as their play with language. Broodthaers used plastic, he said, to "free [himself] from the past," wittily adding, "These plaques are fabricated like waffles, you know"—a nod to his Belgian heritage. The reliefs relate to Museum of Modern Art, Department of Eagles, the artist's fictional museum, of which he was director. Fascinated by its ubiquity as a symbol of strength and power throughout history, Broodthaers used the eagle (a central motif in his work) as an advertising icon for a brand of vinegar, complete with the tagline Chez votre fournisseur (From your supplier), further blurring the line between artistic and commercial production.
Gallery label from New to the Print Collection: Matisse to Bourgeois, June 13, 2012–January 7, 2013.