Object Image

The Black Flag, Unlimited Edition (Le Drapeau noir, tirage illimité)

With the help of industrial craftsmen, in 1968 Broodthaers began making thin, vacuum-formed plastic signs of the kind typically used for advertising. The artist, who had begun his career as a poet, used the medium to create what he termed Poèmes industriels (Industrial poems); their cryptic text and imagery subvert the clarity expected of such signs. He called these works rebuses—a form in which "reading is impeded by the image-like quality of the text and vice versa." This work and several on the adjacent wall refer to Broodthaers’s project Museum of Modern Art, Department of Eagles, a fictional museum he created between 1968 and 1972 to parody and critique official art institutions.

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Painted vacuum-formed plastic plate
83.0 x 119.7 x 1.0 cm
Image © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SABAM, Brussels / Photo: © Erwin De Muer and Cedrik Toselli
Text © MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York

Where you'll find this

The Museum of Modern Art
Permanent collection