CONSTANT (Nieuwenhuys). [CORRESPONDENCE] Geachte Heer Coumans. Amsterdam, 15 August 1962. 1 p.; 21 x 27.5 cm.; black ink on white stock.

Original typewritten and hand-signed letter from Constant (Nieuwenhuys) to [Willem K] Coumans, issued on his writing paper and dated 15 August 1962.

In this letter, Constant briefly explains the circumstances surrounding his decision to leave the Situationist International two years earlier. The recipient, W.K. Coumans, would go on to write the article “New Babylon en Vier Kanten” (published in Nieuws van de Staatsmijnen, 30 July 1965)

The text of the letter reads as follows (translation is mine):

Dear Mr. Coumans,

I am back from vacation and can now answer your postcard from July 14
As you remember, we do not wish for any publicity regarding a possible association with a German architect. Contacts are still too unofficial for that.
I associated with the Situationists for two years. Over that period, the idea of unitary urbanism took shape, culminating in the New Babylon project which appeared publicly for the first time in the Situationist periodical. My isolated position in the Situationist movement, and the lack of cooperation and understanding from its members, led me to turn my back on the movement in 1960. In accordance with your request, I have enclosed a photo*
Best regards,

*Photo will follow soon, as the stock is exhausted