And YES, one more time I would like to boast – just a little bit – about my new book, Soviet Posters Pull-Out Edition, published last autumn at Prestel, UK. This large-format book of Soviet propaganda posters allows the reader to remove individual posters and is at once a revealing historical document and a sublime example of graphic art at its best. Dating from 1917 to the end of the Cold War, the posters in this book feature the work of groundbreaking Russian artists such as El Lissitzky and Alexander Rodchenko, alongside extraordinary works by their contemporaries. Presented in full color, printed on heavy paper, and in a large-format, the posters gathered here represent the pinnacle of Russian avant-garde design from the 20th century. They range in theme from the dangers of alcohol abuse and the creeping Nazi menace, to illustrations of utopian harmony and the Soviet industrial machine. A special feature of this book allows for the removal of the posters, which have been designed to fit standard frame sizes. A brief introduction offers a chronological overview of the period that produced such eloquent art, which has long been a major source of inspiration to artists and designers. This book is the second joint work with Sergro Grigorian, the owner of one of the largest Soviet Poster collections in the world. Our first book, Soviet Posters: The Sergo Grigorian Collection, was published in May 2007, also at Prestel UK.
My New Red Book – Soviet Posters: Pull-Out Edition – is finally out. Well, the previous book, Soviet Posters: The Sergo Grigorian Collection, was such a success that the Publishing House Prestel suggested that Sergo Grigorian, the owner of one of the largest Soviet Poster Collection’s in the world, and I do another book. So here we are. The book is totally different from the fist one. It has only 23 posters (compared to 250 in the previous one). But it is a Pull-Out Edition and the posters are presented in full color, printed on heavy paper, and in a large-format. The posters gathered in this book represent the pinnacle of Russian avant-garde design from the 20th century. They range in theme from the dangers of alcohol abuse and the creeping Nazi menace, to illustrations of utopian harmony and the Soviet industrial machine. A special feature of this book allows for the removal of the posters, which have been designed to fit standard frame sizes. A brief introduction offers a chronological overview of the period that produced such eloquent art, which has long been a major source of inspiration to artists and designers. The first Soviet propaganda poster appeared shortly after the revolution and they continued to be produced until 1985 when perestroika, Mikhail Gorbachev’s policy of opening up the Soviet Union,rendered the old-school political propaganda obsolete. Posters reflected all stages of Soviet history. Produced in varying quantities, ranging from a few hundred to thousands, the total yearly production of posters could be […]
I have already written in one of my blog posts about the beautiful and meaningful Soviet Propaganda Posters. A few days ago a friend of mine offered me a book about the Chinese Propaganda poster, printed by Taschen Publishers. The book was a real revelation. Besides being totally Red – Red being the dominant color on just about every poster – it presented impressive images of Chinese communist propaganda. There are representations of young smiling people working in the factories, thriving industry and agriculture, the easy-going life of women and children and dominating above it all – the portraits of Mao Tse-Dong, the leader of the nation. Certainly for many Chinese, at the time when these posters were created, the images might not have seemed as gorgeous. Because of the Cultural Revolution and the policies of Mao, millions were sent to the forced labor camps, were accused of treason and executed or died of starvation. In this sense, the Chinese poster is very similar to the Soviet one. The posters in the book made me think about all these similarities between the historical evolution of both countries. Just as with the Soviet posters, the Chinese ones remind us today of many events of the past and their consequences. They have also become rare items of art and objects of collection. However, coming from Russia and beeing accustomed to a rather ‘masculin’ Soviet poster, I found that the Chinese posters have a pretty and ‘feminin’ touch of the Chinese culture, whether it be […]
An excellent example of Red Art is the Propaganda poster. The posters were used by the Soviet leaders as visual propaganda of communism. They remained a part of Soviet daily and cultural life until perestroika in the mid-1980s, when they were replaced by regular advertising. Produced in various quantities between 5.000 and 100.000, the posters often had a short life-span and were later destroyed. Today many have become rare items, and recently collector’s items, sold at auction houses at prices often largely exceeding the initial estimate. The message and appearance of the poster depended on the changing ideology within the country. Some posters have interesting stories to tell. Nikolai Kupreyanov. Citizens, preserve historical monuments! 1919. The beginning of the Cultural Revolution caused tremendous damage to buildings, books, and works of art. Thousands of books are lost during the first years of the October Socialist Revolution, burned in the stoves or used as cigarette papers. Untold numbers of monuments and churches were destroyed by the Bolsheviks. This poster, as many others, is an effort to change people’s perception of cultural values of the monarchist, capitalist past. Its aim is to explain the importance of culture as well as the value of knowledge and education. I. Boym The duty of every worker, 1930s. A remarkable poster created at the end of the 1930s, this shows an ideal life that does not yet exist but will come into being in the near future if the Soviet people put more effort into […]