Soviet Art

USSR Culture

Soviet political-propaganda poster

Soviet political-propaganda poster. L. Nepomnyashchy. Moscow - the capital of the Olympic Games - 80. 1979

Soviet political-propaganda poster. L. Nepomnyashchy. Moscow – the capital of the Olympic Games – 80. 1979

Soviet political-propaganda poster
The history of the Soviet state in the poster as the most widespread and popular form of visual art – known to everyone. People in the USSR met it everywhere, in the shops of factories, collective farms, institutions, schools, building sites, on the streets of towns and villages. Soviet poster is descended from the best examples of Russian graphic art. In it, as in a mirror, reflected life. Truly, no appreciable moment passed by a poster artist. That is why it can’t be argued that the poster captured the history of the USSR, its visual image.

Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic. One year of proletarian dictatorship October 1917 - 1918. Artist A. Apsit

Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic. One year of proletarian dictatorship October 1917 – 1918. Artist A. Apsit

Poster – multifaceted art. There are genres of poster – political, national economic, educational, sports, and advertising. Each genre has its specific expressive and figurative means. Since its birth (poster came into our lives with the Great October Revolution), Soviet poster became a true weapon of propaganda and agitation of the Communist Party and its assistant in all the issues of socialist construction. In the 1920s, for example, a poster was one of the most popular and effective forms of the young Soviet art. And not because there simply were not enough books, or there was no radio and television, and it was just beginning of cinema. The first steps of the poster have been so significant that rightfully regarded as clearly planned program of further development of the Soviet art.

S. Datskevich. Pavel Korchagin

Soviet political-propaganda poster. S. Datskevich. Pavel Korchagin (hero of revolution)

Despite the severity of the destruction and military intervention, the posters were published in those years, in more than 70 cities of the Soviet country, in different languages. In this kind of art worked A. Apsit, V. Deni, D. Moore, Mayakovsky, V. Lebedev; on the initiative of Cheremnykh was born the famous “Windows of ROST satire.” The time required from the artists complete dedication, enormous exertion. Same D. Moore, for example, during the offensive of Denikin in the Tula did posters, working at night in the unheated room, exhausted and hungry, in torn boots.

The Youth following the path of legends. L. Nepomnyashchy.  1966

Soviet political-propaganda poster. The Youth following the path of legends. L. Nepomnyashchy. 1966

In just a day, with a truly military efficiency, A. Apsit created one of the first Soviet posters “On the defense of Petrograd!” (1919). Among the best works of Soviet fine art was the poster by D. Moore, “Have You volunteered?” (1920). The monumental, expressive in form, laconic in composition, extremely accurate at the thought, it became a kind of monument to the great revolutionary epoch. The first five years of the shock brigades and literacy, constructing sites on the Dnieper and Magnitogorsk, the poster artists have confronted new challenges.

V. Chumakov. 1972. True - the stars are brighter and the sky is bluer when we are young

Soviet political-propaganda poster. V. Chumakov. 1972. True – the stars are brighter and the sky is bluer when we are young

Poster taught advanced methods of work, educated workers to better working samples. Topics of industrialization and collectivization, socialist competition and international solidarity has been successfully developed and thought out by the older generation of masters and talented young artists, such as A. Deineka, G. Klutsis, Kukryniksy, and A. Strakhov. In those years, were organized the first exhibition of posters. Life-affirming, optimistic works carried the spirit of creation, the joy of a free, peaceful labor.

S. Rayev. How beautiful our planet is. 1975

Soviet political-propaganda poster. S. Rayev. How beautiful our planet is. 1975

The glorious, heroic pages inscribed in the life and struggle the Soviet state poster of World War II. The very next day after the treacherous attack of Nazi Germany on the Soviet Union appeared the first poster by Kukryniksy. There wasn’t a person in the USSR who did not know soulful, mobilizing work by I. Toidze “The Motherland Calls!”. The best Soviet artists gave the talent and effort defending the socialist fatherland. Contributed to the victory by creating posters P. Sokolov- Skalia, Zhukov, B. Prorokov, D. Shmarinov, L. Golovanov, V. Ivanov, A. Kokorekin, V. Koretsky. Continuing the tradition of the “Windows of ROST” in the capital, in many other cities have appeared “TASS Windows” – the most popular form of operational and political posters. In the Soviet Republics, including in occupied territory, published posters, full of optimism, patriotic enthusiasm, faith in the victory of the Soviet people.

The central and popular themes for the artists have become the struggle for world peace and disarmament, the friendship between the peoples of different countries. Emotionally rich, full of high pathos works created Vatolina N., Ivanov, M. Gordon, N. Tereshchenko, O. Maslyakov. The speedy recovery of war-ravaged economy, the construction of the new economy, the strengthening of the defense power of the country, development of virgin lands and the first successes on the way to space – became ever more grandiose achievements of the Soviet people.

V. Karakashev. We'll build communism and we'll live in communism. 1962

V. Karakashev. We’ll build communism and we’ll live in communism. 1962

In 1950, at the Moscow State Art Institute named after VI Surikov poster was opened workshop, which was founded and led by M. Cheremnykh until his death. The creation of this workshop was a kind of starting point for the creativity of contemporary artists, poster artists, the basis for the further movement of numerous group of enthusiastic young artists confidently mastering new heights of contemporary journalistic art. Widely known names of Muscovites A. Arseniev, V. Mehantyev, I. Ovasapov, A. Yakushin, B. Karakashev, M. Lukyanov, L. Levshunov, Z. Lapshin (awarded the Lenin Komsomol Prize), O. Volkova, M. Avvakumov, Leningrad artists A. Gusarov and G. Tereshonok, Yu. Galkus from Lithuania, G. Kirke and L. Shenberg from Latvia, I. Kreydik from Minsk, N. Popinov from Kiev, P. Kadyrov from Turkmenistan, M. Bekdzhanov from Frunze, D. Kasimov from Baku. They created the product, claiming the Soviet way of life, high moral and humanistic principles of our society, showing active citizenship, direct involvement of the authors themselves in the affairs and life of their Fatherland.

Not by chance on art exhibitions of recent years poster occupies the leading position. It was determined by the high position of Soviet poster. It became more colorful. And its color saturation was perceived as a richness of our lives, business, achievements, events, concerns, dreams.

The creative imagination of the artists did not know the limits. To traditional posters were added new. The political posters sounded highly, for example, a poster by Babin ‘Party – the mind, honor and conscience of our time”! It is solid and undeniable, word and image in the poster merged. Looking at it, one involuntarily recalls hammered line of Mayakovsky:
We say – Lenin,
mean –
we say – party
mean – Lenin.

Speaking about the development of poster art in our days, its ideological intensity, power of persuasion, we must always remember that the poster – is the art of propaganda. Only genuine artistic poster journalism can make it an active participant in communist construction. The Soviet poster has large, bright, restless fate. Like any other skill, it experienced the joy of victory and the bitterness of the error, it has its own discoveries, achievements, fulfilled and unfulfilled plans.

Soviet political-propaganda poster