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Marcel Broodthaers – Soleil Politique

The exhibition Soleil Politique (Political sun), organised by the M HKA, is the first retrospective of the Belgian key artist Marcel Broodthaers in his own country for a decade. In recent years, Broodthaers’ work has been on display in top museums as part of a travelling exhibition, organised by the MoMA and the Museo Reina Sofía. The M HKA however, consciously chooses to present this body of work as a project in its own right, just as it did before with the artists Joseph Beuys and James Lee Byars. Soleil Politique focusses on Broodthaers from an Antwerp perspective, in which the strongly anchored Wide White Space Gallery functions as a key element in Broodthaers’ rapidly growing international success. The exhibition aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the breadth of themes, media and presentation strategies Broodthaers engaged with. It will present, for the first time ever in our country, his final and grandiose work Decor: A conquest by Marcel Broodthaers (1975), a more than generous loan from the V–A–C Foundation in Moscow. At the same time, the exhibition presents rarely exhibited works and materials that were discovered during the preliminary research.Soleil Politique approaches Broodthaers’ oeuvre from the idea that art is always political, and that politics are tantamount to constant negotiation without ever reaching a final conclusion. This approach to complexity was initiated when, in around 1967, Broodthaers allowed this concept to affect his visual work and presents words or text in different contexts. His first exhibition in which words, objects and various forms of printing were brought together in an ensemble was Le Corbeau et le Renard (The Fox and the Crow) (1968). It was presented at the Wide White Space Gallery, where he organised a number of important exhibitions from 1966 to 1974. The gallery also presented its artists at the Kunstmarkt in Cologne, so Marcel Broodthaers quickly gained renown in this region of Germany. In the Antwerp space A 37 90 89, Broodthaers installed the Section XVIIe Siècle of his Musée d’art Moderne, Département des Aigles (1969).The exhibition is accompanied by an eponymous catalogue that, apart from highlighting the milestones in Broodthaers’ oeuvre, also uncovers a number of lesser known sources that help contextualise his exhibitions in Antwerp. Five new texts are included: Anny De Decker on Marcel Broodthaers’ exhibitions in the Wide White Space Gallery, Marie-Pascal Gildemyn on references in his work, Hannah Brückmuller on La Banque (The Bank) and Broodthaers’ early performances, Lotte Beckwé on ‘mon collectionneur’ (‘my collector’) Isi Fiszman and finally  Joris D’hooghe on Musée d’art Moderne, Département des Aigles, introduced by Maria Gilissen-Broodthaers and Bart De Baere.Soleil Politique is part of a series of monographic exhibitions organised by the M HKA around key figures of the post-war avant-garde who were active in Antwerp. In 2017, Groeten van de Euraziaat (Greetings from the Eurasian) focussed on the activities of Joseph Beuys in Antwerp, and in 2018, The Perfect Kiss explored James Lee Byars’ personal contacts with the Brussels/Antwerp art scene throughout his oeuvre.Marcel Broodthaers – Soleil Politique
Leuvenstraat 32
2000 Antwerpen

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