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Lettrist movement papers, 1949-1988

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Scope and Content of Collection

This assembled archive of approximately 50 assorted items is a portion of a larger acquisition documenting the development of the Lettrist movement. Included here are manuscripts, tracts, exhibition catalogs, posters and printed ephemera relating to Isidore Isou, the founder of the movement, and other key members such as Maurice Lemaître, Alain Satié, and Jean-Louis Brau, as well as a range of collaborative works.

The archive includes eight items by Isou mostly from the 1970s and 1980s, one regarding the "brain-pollution" of a former colleague, another a "communiqué" to President Giscard d'Estaing. There are nine items by Isou's compatriot, Maurice Lemaître, including a tract arguing that Isou should be awarded the Nobel Prize. A collection highlight is a set of brilliantly colored issues of Revue littéraire letteriste, each one of which is a poster-size visual "novel" by a different artist/writer. There is also an art object, Les mots parlent (1971) which consists of a partially opened sardine can containing an advertisement for wine that has been cut into pieces like a jigsaw puzzle.


Materials by individual artists/authors are grouped together, followed by a list of materials from collaborative projects.

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