CONF: London’s Art Networks and Marcel Broodthaers (Chelsea College of Art, London, 23 Jun 2023)

At the end of the 1960s British artists related to conceptual art – some directly, such as Art & Language, others by association, such as Gilbert & George and Richard Long – all had their first solo shows in continental Europe. It was there too, not in the UK, that their American counterparts, such as Sol LeWitt, Douglas Huebler and Lawrence Weiner, were shown before appearing in London’s galleries. The 1970s, however, saw the growth of a network of figures and institutions that supported the activities of conceptual and related art practices in London and the UK more widely.

Marcel Broodthaers’s interactions with these networks exemplifies their growth over the decade. The Belgian artist had his first London-based show at the newly founded Jack Wendler Gallery in late 1972 and was living in the city by the beginning of the following year. Institutions central to the development of new art in the UK, including the Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Museum of Modern Art Oxford, the Jack Wendler and Nigel Greenwood galleries, and the magazine Studio International, all became hosts to or supporters of Broodthaers’s work.

This conference will draw together research that explores, in depth, these networks as they coalesce around Broodthaers’s career, whether directly coming into contact with it or not, as well as some parallel networks. Taking Broodthaers as its touchstone, it will explore, on the one hand, the aesthetics and politics of experimental practices that become public in England in the 1970s, both before and after Broodthaers’ death in 1976, and simultaneously on the other, the practical and intellectual ambience in which they came into being and into conversation with one another. The conference will have an key note address by Prof. Jo Melvin, Chelsea College of Arts, who, alongside the convenors, will be one of the panel chairs.

Organisers: Dr Deborah Schultz ( and Andrew Chesher (


10:30-11:00 Registration

11:00-11:30 Conference Introduction (Deborah Schultz, Andrew Chesher)

11:30-13:30 Panel 1 (Chair: Deborah Schultz)

• Jo Melvin (University of the Arts London), ‘Marcel Broodthaers and Peter Townsend a friendship unfolded’

• Michal B. Ron (independent art historian, Berlin), ‘M.B.’s ABCs’

• Maria Elena Minuto (University of Liege), ‘A Poetry Issue: The Critical Reception of Marcel Broodthaers in Barbara Reise’s Art Criticism’

13:30-14:30 Lunch Break

14:30-16:30 Panel 2 (Chair: Jo Melvin)

• Florentine Muhry (University of Hildesheim), ‘Radical Resistance and Transformative Aesthetics. Rasheed Araeen’s Postcolonial Approach to Conceptual Art’

• Raf Wollaert (University of Antwerp), ‘London Friends: On the Development of David Lamelas and Marcel Broodthaers’s Cinema Practices (1973-1975)’

• Andrew Chesher (University of the Arts London), ‘A Broodthaers Prospective: John Murphy, Susan Hiller, and Steve McQueen’

16:30-17:30 Plenary Panel

To book Tickets for the Event, read Paper Abstracts and Contributor Biographies, please see our Eventbrite page: