Jan 24, 2007

Marcel Broodthaers

Thanks to my friend Mark I went to see the The Magritte show (Magritte and Contemporary Art: The Treachery of Images) at LACMA yesterday. Artist John Baldessari, who curated the show, highlighted the classic Magritte paintings along side dozens of contemporary artists like Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Jeff Koons and Ed Ruscha who had been influenced or could be compared to Magritte or shared a place in common artistic movements. While Mark and I initially agreed that the thesis of the show was a little too obvious, direct, easy...we both found a few pieces we really wanted to latch on to. For Mark it was Robert Gober's 1990 "Untitled" (a sculpture of a human leg coming out of a wall), for me it was the discovery of Belgian artist Marcel Broodthaers. Broodthaers, who considered himself part of the Surrealist Revolution, had no artistic training and basically entered the visual art world as an ironic gesture. Unfortunately I don't have enough time or space to elaborate further on the subject, but several of his pieces like the "Pipe" series are a direct reaction to Magritte's work—in fact, he co-authored a book called "Ceci Est Une Pipe" (This is a Pipe). To see more of Broodthaers' works I would suggest going to The Tate's website where many of his pieces are part of the permanent collection. Above is "Le corbeau et le renard", 1968; Below is "F", 1972.