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Constant originally titled this work To Us, Liberty, believing that it encapsulated the spirit of creative freedom that accompanied the founding of the CoBrA group in 1948. The prominent use of red, white and blue allude to the French tricolour flag, and its revolutionary values of Liberty, Equality and Brotherhood. Several years later, after the collapse of CoBrA, Constant re-titled the work to reflect his disillusionment: ‘I changed the title to express my doubts about the possibility of ‘free art’ in an unfree society, and, at the same time, my hopes for the freedom all men are looking for.’

August 2004