The first New York retrospective of Belgian poet-turned-art-renegade Marcel Broodthaers (1924-1976) starts with a garden of green leafy potted plants, introducing a sense of dislocation and artifice that courses through the exhibition. Other banal yet poetic materials on display include the shells of mussels and eggs. Broodthaers turned to art-making at the age of 40, bringing humor and skepticism to the project. Though his art career spanned just a decade, it took several dramatic turns—including a four-year stint when he worked on establishing a fictional museum—which are tracked in this lucid and visually dynamic show. Toward the exhibition’s end, one encounters a floor sculpture made of pink sand, bringing the viewer back to the fragile and ephemeral nature of art and life. —Lindsay Pollock
Pictured: View of Marcel Broodthaers: A Retrospective. Courtesy The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo Martin Seck.