COLLECTION / 1945-1989 / Europe and Unites States of America / Lettrism / Letterist International

120 publications and documents.

Soon after the Second World War, the Romanian Isidore Isou moved to Paris, where, together with Gabriel Pommerand, he founded lettrism in the magazine La Dictature lettriste, whose first issue was published in June 1946. For them, letters were the key element of any visual, sound, plastic, architectonic or gestural creation. Jean-Louis Brau, Gilles Wolman, François Dufrêne and Maurice Lemaître, who was to become an obstinate propagandist of the movement, immediately joined the movement.

The following year, in 1947, Gallimard published a book by Isou consisting of over 400 pages titled Introduction à une nouvelle poésie et à une nouvelle musique, which is considered the movement’s manifesto. In it, Isou explains how, based on Baudelaire, poetry traverses the Dadaist and futurist avant-garde, resulting in a form of poetry based on aesthetic values related to the sound of letters, syllables and words, in search of onomatopoeias so that poetry aligns with music and, subsequently, other forms of art and science, by seeking to embrace all branches of cultural activity, especially cinematography. Throughout its extensive trajectory, over 100 creators participated in the lettrist movement, which founded its own publications formally presenting the theoretical work of Isou.

The documents of Archivo Lafuente related to lettrism include magazines, books, graphic portfolios, artist books, posters, catalogues, invitations, manifestos, printed matter and more. Among these documents, particularly noteworthy examples include the only edition of the magazine Front de la Jeunesse (1950?); the publication La plastique lettrisme et hypergraphique (1956), by Maurice Lemaître; the book Introduction à une nouvelle poésie et à une nouvelle musique (1947), by Isidore Isou, and his etchings titled Jonas ou le début d’un Roman (1974–1977).


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