Marcel Broodthaers (1924–1976) was a Belgian Conceptualist, poet and filmmaker. After spending years as a penniless poet, he began making objects in 1964 at the age of forty. Commenting on his first solo exhibition, for which he embedded 50 unsold copies of his book of poems Pense-Bête in plaster, he ironically remarked: “I … asked myself, couldn’t I sell something and succeed in life?” Inspired by Marcel Duchamp and Rene Magritte, his objects continued to be informed by text, which was often included in his collages and assemblages. His most famous work was an environment/installation that began in his Brussels house, Musée d'Art Moderne, Départment des Aigles (1968).
John Baldessari (b. 1931) is a pioneer of Conceptual art and one of the most influential artists of his generation. He was also inspired by Duchamp, and many of his works feature found photography and appropriated images, as well as text. Beginning as a painter, in 1970 he burned all his works made in the period from 1953 to 1966 and placed the ashes in an urn in the form of a book. He began working with printmaking, film, video, installation, sculpture and photography, and has created many works that combine images and language.