Sims Reed Rare Books×

Lettre Ouverte. (Version Définitive)

Broodthaers, Marcel

Kasterlee. Rjkscentrum Frans Masereel. 1972
Marcel Broodthaers' 'Lettre Ouverte' print depicting the envelopes and letter for a 'Lettre Ouverte' with cancelled text.

From the edition limited to 300 unnumbered copies initialled 'M. B.' and dated '72' in white crayon at upper left and with the blindstamp of the publisher with the text 'RIJKSCENTRUM FRANS MASEREEL KASTERLEE' at lower right; a proof version was also issued.

Marcel Broodthaers composed a series of what he termed 'Lettres Ouvertes' (open letters) issued from his 'Departement des Aigles' which he then sent to members of the art-world. Many of the letters were published subsequently in small editions as printed texts, or, as here, had the text cancelled and made into an original image. The letters often comment on the social context of art of the period or allude to the weather, flowers, gardens and more ephemeral and traditionally Romantic themes. The ironical and ambiguous use of a confidential tone, the power of Broodthaer's one-man movement, the use of an 'old-fashioned' instrument such as an open letter in a world so fond of 'new media', are all typical of Broodthaers' critical interventions in the often self-involved and self-conscious world of art.

The proof version of this 'Lettre Ouverte' features uncancelled text and shows that the envelope at upper right features Broodthaers' own address, while that at lower right is addressed to Pierre Van Osselaere. The actual letter, dated 'le 6 Juin 1972' and addressed to 'Cher Masereel' reads as follows: 'Le ciel est dégagé ce jour ... les nuages / sont devenus plus rares et je vois des oiseaux poindre à l'horizon ... / il n'est peut-être qu'un cauchemar. / Vivions-nous un printemps en 1972?'

[Ceuleers 13a].
Folio. (380 x 515 mm). Sheet of thick wove paper with colour offset print by Marcel Broodthaers recto only, initialled and dated in white crayon at upper left and with the publisher's blindstamp at lower right.

Other Items

Art & Project Bulletin No. 66:...
An excellent, pristine example of the Marcel Broodthaers art & project bulletin / exhibition.
Broodthaers, MarcelArt & Project Bulletin...1973
A Voyage on the North Sea
A good copy of the English edition of Marcel Broodthaers' legendary artist book.
Broodthaers, MarcelA Voyage on the...1973
Un Jardin d'Hiver
A good copy of Broodthaers' artist book 'Un Jardin d'Hiver' with the original portfolio.
Broodthaers, MarcelUn Jardin d'Hiver1974
Charles Baudelaire. Pauvre Belgique
An excellent copy of Marcel Broodthaers' scarce gnomic artist book based on Charles Baudelaire's criticism of Belgium.
Broodthaers, MarcelCharles Baudelaire. Pauvre Belgique1974
Moules / Oeufs / Frites /...
The scarce catalogue for Broodthaers' 'Moules Oeufs Frites Pots Charbon', his first major solo exhibition.
Broodthaers, MarcelMoules / Oeufs /...1966
Un Coup de Dés Jamais N’Abolira...
An excellent, crisp presentation copy of Marcel Broodthaers' important appropriation of Stéphane Mallarmé.
Broodthaers, MarcelUn Coup de Dés...1969
Invitation to 'Moi aussi, je me...
The very scarce invitation / poster / announcement for Marcel Broodthaers' first solo exhibition at Brussels' Galerie St Laurent in 1964.
Broodthaers, MarcelInvitation to 'Moi aussi,...1964
Serie Negra
The extraordinary, scarce Pop artist book by the influential Spanish art collective 'Equipo Crónica'.
Equipo Cronica (Rafael Solbés & Manuel Valdés Blanco)Serie Negra1972
Franz Erhard Walther. Frühe Arbeiten (1955...
Leaflet published to accompany the exhibition of Franz Erhard Walther, Frühe Arbeiten (1955 - 1962) at Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld, from August 6 - October 1 1972.
Walther, Franz ErhardFranz Erhard Walther. Frühe...1972
George and Gilbert the living sculptors...
A very good example of the scarce catalogue for Gilbert & George's 'Australian Visit'.
Gilbert & GeorgeGeorge and Gilbert the...1973