L'Art et les mots, 1973

Art and Words, 1973
Painting, 9 elements 79.4 x 99.7 cm each

With the fictitious museum Marcel Broodthaers created in 1968 and his films, the literary paintings are one of the most brilliant points of his career. They were produced between 1972 and 1973, and he designed several series, all made up of nine canvases in which he combines words and phrases with dates.

Although they may seem arbitrary, everything in those paintings has been carefully studied, from the typography to the kind of printing. The elegance and style of the typography frequently connote the tradition of high culture and its concern with execution and expression. He combines them in his literary paintings with an industrial element, mechanical reproduction, and they are his ironic response to the successive fashions of minimalism and conceptual art, while opening the way for a kind of visual expression which, without necessarily being poetry or painting, is both at the same time. They take to extremes the peintures-poèmes of Joan Miró and, most of all, the work of René Magritte (another Belgian, who had a deep influence on him).

MACBA has a large amount of Broodthaers' work on film and all of his serial work and the inclusion of this series in our collection is an invaluable addition. There is no doubt that he is one of the most important European artists of the second half of the 20th century and one of the most influential in the more critical group of painter-poets. With L'Art et les mots (1973) the museum has acquired a key work for understanding the crisis which painting, pictorial representation or artistic practices have been living through since that time.

Technical details

Original title:
L'Art et les mots
Registration number:
Broodthaers, Marcel
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Object type:
Typographic print with acrylic preparation on canvas
9 elements 79.4 x 99.7 cm each (height x width)
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
© Estate of Marcel Broodthaers, VEGAP, Barcelona
It has accessibility resources:

The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

For more information on the work or the artist, please consult MACBA's Library. To request a loan of the work, please write to colleccio [at] macba.cat.

If you need a high resolution image of the work, you must submit an image loan request.