Ou Magazine Collection

1958-1979

Geographic Area: Europe, United States of America, Latin America

Related Collections: Fernando Millán Collection — José Luis Castillejo Collection — José Miguel Ullán Collection — Ulises Carrión Collection

Related Topics: The Expansion of the Artist Book

Related Exhibitions: The Idea of ArtWhat Is an Artist Book?

The magazine Ou was an outstanding platform for developments initiated by experimentation in the field of writing and continued following the war by a broad spectrum of movements and groups. It was published in Paris from 1958 until 1974, first under the title Cinquième Saison, and as Ou from edition number 20. Directed by Henri Chopin after the second issue, the magazine became a collaboration and dissemination space for the experimental compositions of numerous writers, poets and visual artists throughout Europe. The list of Ou contributors during its almost two decades of existence is extremely extensive and, in addition to Chopin, includes such figures as Bernard Heidsieck, Paul de Vree, Robert Altman and Gianni Bertini.

The collection dedicated to this magazine includes all its issues, in other words from number 1 to 44, published between 1958 and 1974, and the final issue published in Bourges in 1979. Amongst these, 20 to 44 are the deluxe editions, with the exception of issue 25, of which a normal version amplified with various other elements is conserved, and number 32, as a deluxe edition of this issue was never published. The series includes audio recordings, numerous signed originals – prints, drawings and so on – and, in some cases, manuscripts of original texts which were to be published in the magazine. It also features other particularly rare pieces, such as the rigid plastic mold that Bertini used to create the red reliefs that appear on the cover of issue number 36/37. The collection is completed with compendiums of correspondence between Chopin and Robert Krauthammer, the Swiss collector and gallery owner, and the Paris avant-garde publisher and bookseller Jean Petithory.