Four posters by Asger Jorn

Made in May 1968 in support of the French students in Paris

In May 1968, France saw its biggest social uprising in recent history with the youth revolt. What began as a student uprising in Nanterre in March and in Paris from early May developed after 13 May into a general strike with an estimated 10 million strikers.

The crisis became political, and for a short time Charles de Gaulle seemed to stand weak. But with his speech on 30 May, dissolving the National Assembly and appealing to the “silent majority’s” desire for “order”, he turned the tide.

And on the night of 30 May 1968, Asger Jorn and the lithographer Peter Bramsen decided to produce a series of posters in support of the youth uprising. The result was the now famous Revolution Poster. With strategic misspellings and distortions of the slogans of the rebellion, Jorn expressed his sympathy with the students’ struggle. Four posters were printed on one sheet and then divided into four posters. Each with its own expression and philosophical text by Jorn.

At the time, materials were in short supply in Paris and Peter Bramsen was unable to obtain paper for the entire edition. Therefore only 100 copies were printed on the night of 30 May and the following week on 7 June paper was obtained for an additional 300 copies. The originally agreed print run of 1000 copies was never completed.

53 years pass and Peter Bramsen and his wife decide, after a long life in Paris, to move back to Denmark. During the move, Peter Bramsen finds the original old films from which the second edition of 7 June 1968 was printed and remembers the missing copies in the edition. Thus the idea for the 3rd edition was born. Museum Jorn is contacted and approves the project. It is agreed that a further 400 copies of the poster will be printed in the Litho press from the original old editions. The poster is divided into four as originally intended and all copies are stamped on the back with the dates of the start of printing of the 3 editions.