The Marie-Puck Broodthaers Collection Offered for Sale at Artcurial

Tuesday, May 23, 2023
The Marie-Puck Broodthaers Collection Offered for Sale at Artcurial

On 25th May, Artcurial’s Books & Manuscripts department, in collaboration with booksellers and experts Benoît Forgeot and Philippe Luiggi, will present a part of the collection of Marie-Puck Broodthaers. Daughter of Belgian artist Marcel Broodthaers (1924-1976), gallery owner and collector, she offers for sale a set of more than 230 lots, divided into two chapters.

The first part will present manuscripts, books, drawings, and objects by Marcel Broodthaers testifying to her privileged relationship with her father. The second part will offer original works by artists linked to her Brussels gallery, including James Lee Byars, Giorgio De Chirico, Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia and René Magritte.

Marie-Puck Broodthaers grew up in a family fond of art, films, books, and photographs, and in the tumult of heated discussions between more or less famous artists. She knew very early on what she would dedicate her life to. Marie-Puck had a very early relationship with art thanks to her father, and she was confronted with it professionally for the first time at the age of 19 when she left for New York to work in Marian Goodman’s gallery before moving on to other institutions in Cologne.

 In 1987, at the age of 25, she decided to open her own gallery in Brussels at 20 Rue Ravenstein, in front of the Palais des Beaux-Arts. Her innovative programme consisted in combining exhibitions of historical artists (Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia, Giorgio de Chirico), artists close to her father (James Lee Byars, Richard Hamilton), contemporary personalities (Carl Andre, Marina Abramovic, Christian Boltanski), as well as the young Belgian scene (Ann Veronica Janssens, Angel Vergara, Thierry de Cordier and Michel François). She ran her own art gallery from 1996 until 2012.

The first part of the sale is dedicated to Marcel Broodthaers, with a previously unseen collection of works and documents tracing his artistic career. Amongst others, Chronique de l’Amour enchanté (1960), a unique autograph poetic manuscript, estimated €20,000 - 25,000.

 An ink and magic colour drawing entitled Fig 1 + fig 2 = fig. 1 fig. 2, estimated at €10,000 - 12,000, representing one of the first formulas on which he built the entire architecture of his plastic poetics, will also be offered for sale, as well as his Drapeau noir. Tirage illimité, a work created in 1968 that explicitly refers to the anarchist and student movements of the time and invites reflection on the uniqueness of the work of art, estimated €40,000 - 60,000.


Marcel Broodthaers Le Drapeau noir. Tirage illimité.  1968  Plaque en plastique embouti et peint en acrylique en noir et rouge, cadre en bois noir  Estimation : 40 000 - 60 000 €
Marcel Broodthaers, Le Drapeau noir, 1968
Unlimited print runs, Stamped plastic plate painted in acrylic in black and red, black wooden frame
Estimate: €40,000 - 60,000

Three copies of his emblematic Pense-Bête will complete this set. Written in 1964 by Marcel Broodthaers, Pense-Bête was originally a collection of poems. However, given the limited success of his work, he decided to cast his last copies in plaster and thus transform them into a fully-fledged plastic work. This was a genuine act of creation by which Marcel Broodthaers entered the world of art, transforming him from a poet to an artist. These 3 copies are representative of the progression of the diversion he made of his collection of poems and are estimated at between €4,000 and €10,000.

The second part of this sale, comprising 109 lots, is devoted to Marie-Puck Broodthaers and her work as a gallery owner, with the artists she has represented throughout her career. A remarkable oil on canvas, entitled Le Zèbre by Francis Picabia, will be presented at the sale. On the back are three pencil sketches dating from 1909, a pivotal year for the artist as he began his shift towards modernity, estimated €350,000 - 500,000.

Francis Picabia  Le Zèbre – Sans date [circa 1932-1933]  Huile sur toile, titre autographe en tête à droite, 3 ébauches au crayon au dos  59,5 × 73,5 cm  Estimation : 350 000 - 500 000 €Francis Picabia (1879-1953)
Le Zèbre, circa 1932-1933
Oil on canvas, autograph title at top right, 3 pencil sketches on back
59.5 × 73.5 cm
Estimate: €350,000 - 500,000

Another important oil on canvas in this chapter is Giorgio de Chirico’s late 1920s illustration of Guillaume Apollinaire’s poem La Grace exilée, inside the calligrammes, estimated €180,000 - 220,000.

 Other works in the sale include a drawing entitled Cheval by René Magritte, estimated €25,000 - 35,000, an oil on canvas, Composition, by Oscar Dominguez, estimated €80,000 - 120,000, and the famous collection Peintures by Yves Klein, estimated €25,000 - 35,000.

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Anna Melnykova, "Palace of Labor (palats praci), architector I. Pretro, 1916", shot with analog Canon camera, 35 mm Fuji film in March 2022.

Anna Melnykova, "Palace of Labor (palats praci), architector I. Pretro, 1916", shot with analog Canon camera, 35 mm Fuji film in March 2022.


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