Sims Reed Rare Books×

Invitation to 'Moi aussi, je me suis demandé si je ne pouvais pas vendre quelque chose et réussir dans la vie … '. (I, too, wondered whether I could not sell something and succeed in life)

Broodthaers, Marcel

Brussels. Galerie St Laurent. 1964
The very scarce invitation / poster / announcement for Marcel Broodthaers' first solo exhibition at Brussels' Galerie St Laurent in 1964.

Broodthaers' exhibition at the Galerie St Laurent, rue Duquesnoy in Brussels was from 10th to 25th April, 1964; the vernissage for the exhibition was held on the 10th.

Each example of this announcement / invitation, printed using orange and black inks for the letterpress text over the page of a magazine, is necessarily unique. The present example features an advertisement for snake-skin shoes recto and the 'Miss Chantelle' girdle verso. Broodthaers' text is crucial and illuminating in regard to his transformation from Surrealist-allied poet to artist.

'Moi aussi, je me suis demandé si je ne pouvais pas vendre quelque chose et réussir dans la vie. Cela fait un moment déjà que je ne suis bon à rien. Je suis âgé de quarante ans ... [printed in orange] L'idée enfin d'inventer quelque chose d'insincère me traversa l'esprit et je me mis aussitôt au travail. Au bout de trois mois, je montrai ma production à Ph. Edouard Toussaint la propriétaire de la galerie Saint Laurent. Mais c'est de l'Art, dit-il et j'exposerais volontier tout ça. D'accord lui répondis-je. Si je vends quelque chose il prendra 30%, Ce sont, paraît-il des conditions normales certaines galeries prenant 75%. Ce que c'est? En fait, des objets. Marcel Broothaers ... [printed in black]'.

'Although most exhibition announcements are instrumental, inviting the viewer to witness a sincere, creative presence in a white cube, Marcel Broodthaers’ first one-person exhibition poster announces a very different approach to making art and publicity (which, in Broodthaers’ 'studio' / 'museum' went hand in hand). Having been struck by the developments of American Pop art in Paris in 1963-64, Broodthaers’ announced his transformation from poet to artist after hitting upon 'the idea of inventing something insincere'; tellingly, this first announcement / manifesto is printed on different pages removed from a Belgian fashion magazine. It is difficult to say that this collision of image-and-text - this 1964 exhibition announcement - is less consequential than just about anything else the artist produced during his first year at work.' (Todd Alden).
[Single magazine sheet]. Single folded sheet. (252 x 338 mm). Printed text in black and orange recto and verso on a page from a magazine, the text printed in landscape format over the page with printing in portrait format.