May 1968 (Miró)

May 1968 is a painting by Joan Miró which he created between 1968 and 1973. It is part of the permanent collection of the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona.[1] The painting was inspired by the unrest in France in 1968.


Jacques Dupin spoke of the circumstances under which the artist made this work:

May 68, I arrived in Paris to prepare a statement of the Cathedral of Barcelona, I speak with Miró, I showed him my enthusiasm, my anxieties, the game and the challenge of an ambitious spring. He began painting but he did not end until five years later. The spots, scratches, fingerprints and black graphics are evidence of the activity that caused this work.[2]

The paintings of this effervescent period were part of a retrospective exhibition for the seventy-fifth anniversary of the artist, which took place at the Maeght Foundation, the Miró Foundation and Cathedral of Barcelona and Haus der Kunst in Munich.[2]

During this time, Miró's work was booming. The period climaxed in 1973, with a series of paintings carved with knives and burned with gasoline and Chalumu.[3]


In the spring of 1968 students from the universities of Sorbonne and Nanterre revolted in continuing demonstrations that lasted almost a month and a half. This revolt inspired the workers to strike. It was known as the French May and May 68. Joan Miró sympathized with the movement and made this work, a wall where the vitality and prints are ideal for those events.


On a white background, the artist made brightly coloured stains in the range typical of this period: blue, red, green, yellow and orange. These patches of colour are crushed by thick coloured black lines. This set is superimposed in the foreground a large black spot. With fingers imagined as the drip lines of black, mimicking the impact of a ball or jet black paint.[4]

Main ExhibitionsEdit

Year Exhibition Place City Ref
1974 Grand Palais Paris núm. 185
1975 Fundació Joan Miró Barcelona núm. 82
1978 Museo Español de Arte Moderno Madrid núm. 84
1979 Orsanmichele Firenze núm. 40
1980 Museo de Arte Moderno Mexico City núm. 61.
1985 Palazzo dei Diamanti Ferrara núm. 12


  1. ^ "Information about the work at the museum site". 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2011.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b Dupin 2002, p. 333
  3. ^ Dupin 2002, p. 341
  4. ^ Erben 2004, p. 209

Further readingEdit