Where did all the propagandists go?
September 29, 2006 3:45 PM   Subscribe

Are any of the old Soviet poster designers still working?

This FPP made me wonder if any of these ridiculously talented artists did significant work after the fall of the USSR. Or did they just vanish after the whole propaganda market dried up? Are there any names I should look for?
posted by brundlefly to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Which period are you talking about? The really influential, avant-garde Russian poster designs were made from around 1914 into the '20s and early '30s -- those artists all died decades ago.

If that is the timeframe you're referring to, for some book recommendations, I would suggest Film Posters of the Russian Avant-Garde and Defining Russian Graphic Arts. For a broader look at the topic, there's The Russian Avant-Garde Book (more about bookmaking than posters, but lots of overlap in the artists) and Russian Constructivism.

Significant graphic artists of that period include Alexander Rodchenko (also see here), El Lissitzky (nice online exhibition here), and Vladimir and Georgii Stenberg. There were also other European artists of the same period working in related styles, such as Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and other members of the Bauhaus. A related book on that topic is Central European Avant-Gardes (full disclosure: I was an assistant editor on the project).
posted by scody at 4:18 PM on September 29, 2006 [3 favorites]

whoops, here's the proper link to the Lissitzky book.
posted by scody at 4:20 PM on September 29, 2006

Response by poster: Interesting, cody! I never really associated that style with a particular time period. Thanks for all those links!
posted by brundlefly at 2:04 AM on September 30, 2006

Best answer: some will no doubt be still alive, some will still be producing posters. they will almost certainly be members of the artists' union. names: look for a signature or more likely tiny printed name on the posters you like. you can then ask the artist's union for help tracking them down.
posted by londongeezer at 6:14 AM on September 30, 2006

No problem, brundlefly -- it's really amazing work, isn't it? Make sure you visit MoMA the next time you're in New York -- they've got some wonderful, wonderful examples in the collection. (The Tate Modern also had two or three whole rooms full of Russian posters when I was there last year; don't know if that was a permanent display or a temporary rotation.)
posted by scody at 3:40 PM on September 30, 2006

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