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Russian Revolutionary Posters: From Civil War to Socialist Realism, from Bolshevism to the End of Stalinby David King
Synopses & Reviews
Red Star Over Russia is a breathtaking visual history of the Soviet Union from 1917 to the death of Stalin, using a vast array of material including posters, photographs, paintings, magazine covers, advertisements, and ephemera to illustrate the dramatic birth and eventual decline of the Soviet Union. The book's urgent, cinema verite style plunges the reader into the shattering events that brought hope, chaos, heroism, and horror to the citizens of the world's first workers' state.
The Russian Revolution produced some of the most important advances in the fields of art, photography, and graphic design in the 20th century. More than 550 of these widely influential materials are reproduced here to the highest quality, accompanied by author David King's accessible text. Zooming in from the epic to the particular, King rescues from obscurity many lost heroes and villains through the work of the most brilliant Soviet artists, many of them anonymous or long forgotten.
German artist John Heartfield (1891-1968) is widely considered one of the inventors of photomontage. In the 1930s, he produced some of the most visually arresting and politically hard-hitting artwork of the 20th century, appropriating the widely circulated propaganda of the time to create its total antithesis. In his own words, he used andldquo;laughter as a devastating weaponandrdquo; to target the Nazis, which made him a target for Nazi censorship. In 1933, the Gestapo destroyed much of his work, after which he produced his brilliantly terrifying images in exile. This new book includes an insightful essay and more than 150 full-color reproductions of his works.
The tumultuous events of the Russian Revolution were matched by dramatic shifts in graphic art and design that continue to influence our visual landscape. David King, an internationally acclaimed graphic designer, selected the posters reproduced here from his own unparalleled collection. Constructivist posters, socialist advertising, and biting political satire are all represented, as are artists such as Alexander Rodchenko, El Lissitzky, and Gustav Klutsis. King sets the posters in context and profiles the art directors whose vision played a vital role in creating these striking works.
About the Author
David King is the author of The Commissar Vanishes: The Falsification of Photographs and Art in Stalinand#8217;s Russia and Red Star Over Russia: A Visual History of the Soviet Union from 1917 to the Death of Stalin. Former art editor of the Sunday Times (London), he is one of the worldand#8217;s preeminent collectors of Russian artifacts.
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