Now Tate Publishing is celebrating Constructivism, the Russian Civil War caricatures which preceded the period, and the Socialist Realism that followed, right up to the posters of 1930s Stalinist Russia.
Now book Russian Revolutionary Posters follows events that would change the world forever through the shifting graphic styles which captured them, with commentary from David King – an expert on Soviet art, who also designed the book.
Remarkably, stories of the commissioning of the posters are retold, with explanations of how poster campaigns were coordinated, and in places, personal histories of the art directors and creative directors who led them are told by King.
The power of what they were conducting of course was never lost on these individuals. Least not Vyacheslav Polonsky who said, ‘The poster is a weapon of mass persuasion, a device for constructing a collective psychology.’
Over 165 images are crammed into the book and there’s a reasonable amount of satisfaction to be gained from rifling through them, but this book seems to be equally about King’s determination as a graphic artist, and a pedant, to bring these images – some of them never before seen – into one place.
This includes his acquisition of Russki Revoyutsionnii Plakat – The Russian Revolutionary Poster – (State Publishing House 1925) which he claims to have borrowed from The Honourable Ivor Goldsmid Samuel Montagu, ‘a friend of Albert Einstein’ producer of early Alfred Hitchcock films, and ‘world class table tennis player,’ says King.
Russian Revolutionary Posters is published by Tate Publishing and is priced £24.99