Lisière d'infini

Year: 2000

Author: Zéno Bianu (*1950)

Artist: Michel Mousseau (*1934)

Publisher: Fata Morgana

Lisière d'infini, cover

Zéno Bianu has a predilection for the theatre and for eastern cultures. Besides putting together an anthology of modern French poetry and one of Japanese haikus, he has also translated work by the Hungarian author Sándor Márai, and written many volumes of poetry. He is considered one of the major contemporary poets. His poems are succinct, with the force of an aphorism and the mystery of eastern wisdom. In Lisière d'infini, the poems form balancing acts between one state and another and all the poems begin with the statement 'pas seulement', in other words: not only this, but also something else.

Michel Mousseau

At the age of twenty, Michel Mousseau dropped out of college to do nothing but paint, paint and paint some more. He comes from a working class family: one of his grandfathers was a baker, the other one was a blacksmith. From 1954 to 1973 he dropped off the radar. From the moment he moved into an old carpentry shop in Paris, where he lived and worked from then on, he devoted himself entirely to his craft. From 1973 onwards, he exhibited his work almost every year, and occasionally dallied in poetry and the theatre. He illustrated artists' books and designed posters for poetry events. His work, which frequently has Cubist tendencies, was influenced by his predilection for graphic art. In this edition of Lisière d'infini (the infinite fringe of society), Mousseau worked with abstract uneven quadrangles in bright colours that contrast with each other, sometimes subtly, and sometimes in more obvious ways.

To the happy few

The typical Fata Morgana publication was published in the series ‘To the happy few’. The edition run was small (30) and, as with many Fata Morgana books, the typography was restrained: all the texts are centred, only one supplementary colour (blue) was used and then only on the cover. There is no publishing logo nor have any formal details, such as typeface, series title or ISBN been given so that all attention is channelled towards the texts and the images.

The paintings - abstract compositions with adjoining patches of colour in blue, grey, yellow, red and black oil paint – differ in each copy. Despite the presence of the isolating varnish, the paint was so thoroughly absorbed by the Arches paper that the compositions became visible on the reverse side. Hence the reason that Mousseau counter painted the reverse side in black.


To bookbinder Berdien van Lieshout, the black panes would inspire the binding design she produced in 2008 in which she distinguishes the panes through her use of different materials. The colours do return in this design though, as Van Lieshout painted the sides of the black pieces in the original colours (blue, red and yellow).

Bibliographical description

Description: Lisière d'infini / Zéno Bianu ; [peintures originales de] Michel Mousseau. – Saint-Clément-la-Rivière : Fata Morgana, 2000. - [17] p. : ill. ; 29 cm

Printer: La Charité (Montpellier)

Edition: 30 copies

This copy: Number 19 of 30 on Arches

Note: Signed by the author and the artist.

Bookbinder: Berdien van Lieshout (2008)

Bibliography: Bénézit 9-916

Shelfmark: KW Koopm K 334


  • Paul van Capelleveen, 'Fata Morgana, Bruno Roy & David Massabuau', in: Artists & others. The imaginative French book in the 21st century. Koopman Collection, National Library of the Netherlands. Nijmegen, Vantilt Publishers, 2016, p. 139-144.
  • Paul van Capelleveen, Sophie Ham, Jordy Joubij, Voices and visions. The Koopman Collection and the Art of the French Book. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands; Zwolle, Waanders, 2009
  • Paul van Capelleveen, Sophie Ham, Jordy Joubij, Voix et visions. La Collection Koopman et l'Art du Livre français. La Haye, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Bibliothèque nationale des Pays-Bas; Zwolle, Waanders, 2009