Marcel Broodthaers – Industrial Poems


Marcel Broodthaers, Porte A, 1969 © Succession Marcel Broodthaers / 2022, ProLitteris, Zurich

Marcel Broodthaers (Saint-Gilles, 1924 – Cologne, 1976) is one of the most complex, multifaceted artistic figures of the twentieth century. Viewed as one of the greatest exponents of conceptual art, with the eye of an artist, the mind of a poet and the gaze of a sociologist, Broodthaers critically explored not only the relationship between art, language and communication but also the mechanisms, including those related to financial aspects that underpin museums and art. MASI Lugano is dedicating the exhibition "Marcel Broodthaers – Industrial Poems" to this twentieth century master. The unprecedented event, hosted in the LAC venue, presents the main motifs featured on the famous series of plaques created by Broodthaers between 1968 and 1972. Inspired by the materials, aesthetic and production process of street signage, the artist’s Industrial Poems are a series of plastic signs featuring enigmatic combinations of words, letters, signs and shapes. Belying their apparent resemblance to road signs, the plaques do not communicate a clear message but rather set out to disorient the onlooker. The way the Industrial Poems were produced, conceived and presented also highlights the contradictory relationship between reproducible industrial objects and original, unique works of art. The exhibition, produced by the WIELS museum in Brussels in close collaboration with the heirs of Marcel Broodthaers, features 72 plaques, including different versions and lesser-known variations. It also presents unique prototypes, as well as a large group of drawings and preparatory sketches for the plaques, three films and an audio work entitled Interview with a Cat, all in relation to a selection of the artist’s ‘Open Letters’.

The exhibition is organized in collaboration with WIELS, Brussels. Curated by Dirk Snauwaert and Charlotte Friling, the MASI Lugano presentation is curated by Francesca Benini in collaboration with Maria Gilissen Broodthaers, Marie-Puck Broodthaers and the Marcel Broodthaers Succession.

  • LAC venue

  • Piazza Bernardino Luini 6, 6900 Lugano


Marcel Broodthaers. Lettere aperte e conversazioni


Marcel Broodthaers – Industrial Poems


Marcel Broodthaers – Industrial Poems

Poster F4

Marcel Broodthaers – Industrial Poems

Poster A3