Feb 08, 2024 - Sale 2658

Sale 2658 - Lot 21

Price Realized: $ 562
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200


Revolution Means Revolutionary Consciousness / The Underground Will Take Over Lunds Konsthall.
Offset lithograph poster. 850x622 mm, 33½x24½ inches. Permild & Rosengreen, Copenhagen. 1968.

Johannesson was a revolutionary, cultural upstart and enthusiastic proponent of drug use within the Swedish graphic design community, whose work was often censored. His images, mainly railing against state control and making broad social critiques, were accomplished at an unexpectedly sophisticated artistic level. His style incorporates typography, psychedelia and innovative graphics. "Johannesson's poster pieces took a lot of the visual cues from the international psychedelic movement – the LSD palette, the counterculture politics, the sense of fluidity, but what made them unusual was they were made in an art context. Johannesson's graphic works often appear closer to constructivism and Rodchenko than Fillmore-era rock posters. The artist's style refused to be pinned down" (Francesca Gavin: ‘Sture Johannesson', Dazed, July 2012).

This poster, perhaps his best known, is affectionately called the "Hash Girl." It is a tribute to Delacroix's 1830 painting, Liberty Leading the People, which appears in the upper right-hand corner. It was advertising an upcoming exhibition, Revolution, intended to take place at the Lund Konsthall. Due to the ensuing public outcry over Johannesson's provocative image, the director of the museum lost his job and the show was cancelled before it even began.

The revolutionary imagery includes not only the title and Delacroix's painting, but also the French rosette and multiple images of the head of Che Guevara, emerging like wafting smoke from the woman's hash pipe.