The great Belgian artist Marcel Broodthaers was responsible for some of the most important developments in conceptual art - playfully manipulating both artistic materials and exhibition spaces, his work revolutionized how we as viewers engage with art. Often shelved alongside the Surrealists, I feel Broodthaers is more at home in the realm of philosophy and consider his work a strange sort of visual literary theory. He was a poet until his 40s, and made his debut in the art world by creating a plaster sculpture out of his unsold poetry books (a now-famous publication and sculpture called "Pense-Bête"). Despite some incredible punning sculptures using mussel shells and lumps of coal, he was a poet at heart and has a large body of work that exemplifies this devotion to writing. During his life Broodthaers made a number of wonderful artist's books - I'm particularly fond of a version of Mallarmé's Roll of the Dice he created using engraved aluminum plates, one of which is in the MoMA's permanent collection.
When the MoMA had their retrospective in the spring, they produced a edition of Broodthaers' La Conquête de l'espace -
Here's a detail of the book's title page (special thanks to my recently-manicured wife):
The book is still available from MoMA. While not particularly cheap, I think its a must for Broodthaers fans and for the art-inclined book collector.
Universal Harvester by John Darnielle
Currently listening to:
GAS BOX by GAS