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295 × 220 mm
408 pages
322 illustrations, 314 in colour
01 May 2017

Communist Posters Mary Ginsberg

One of the common features of communist regimes is the use of art for revolutionary means. Posters in particular have served as beacons of propaganda – vehicles of coercion, instruction, censure and debate – in every communist nation. They have promoted the authority of state and revolution, but have also been used as an effective means of protest. By their nature posters are ephemeral, tied to time and place, but many have had far-reaching, long-lasting impact. They are imbued with both artistic integrity and personal conviction – Bolshevik posters, for example, are among the most vibrant, passionate graphics in art history.

This is the first truly global survey of the history and variety of communist poster art. Each chapter is written by an expert in the field, and examines a different region of the world: Russia, China, Mongolia, Eastern Europe, North Korea, Vietnam and Cuba. This beautifully illustrated, comprehensive survey examines the broad range of political and visual cultures of communist posters, and will appeal to a wide audience interested in art, history and politics.

To read the introduction from the book please click here to view and download a PDF (2MB).

‘[a] radiant art book about the intersection of art and revolution. Organized by region, the book examines the political and visual cultures of communist or formerly communist countries around the world, showcasing their similarities and differences through comparative analysis of their poster art . . . Colorful, provocative imagery fills almost every page, with many posters given full-page spreads. This is both a visual feast and an illuminating global study.’ – Publishers’ Weekly

‘Extending beyond the borders of the Soviet Union, Communist Posters, edited by Mary Ginsberg, is the first international survey of communist poster art. With individual chapters, each written by an expert in the field, and covering a different country or region, the book not only highlights the creative exchange that occurred around the globe, but also the ways in which common communist propaganda motifs were adapted for different cultural contexts. Starting with an overview of Russia and the Soviet Union, then continuing through Mongolia, Eastern Europe, China, Korea, Vietnam and Cuba, we see sturdy peasants, enthusiastic workers and strong leaders surrounded by bursts of sunlight, the hammer and sickle and the fruits of their agricultural and industrial labour. Through hundreds of colour illustrations, posters are presented as instruments of political propaganda, graphic works of art and components of the shared visual culture of communist countries.’ – Burlington Magazine

‘This volume presents and analyzes communist posters from around the world . . . The images are of high quality throughout. The specific posters were chosen to highlight important artistic and political features of this type of communication within the social and political milieu. Particularly compelling is the discussion of posters and dissent in Eastern Europe . . . This volume is an important addition to the work on communication and legitimation in communist countries. Recommended.’ – Choice

‘The first major survey of communist poster art considers the visual legacy of propaganda graphic design in nations around the world.’ – Hyperallergic

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Mary Ginsberg has had a career in international finance, and latterly has been a curator at the British Museum, London. She is the author of The Art of Influence: Asian Propaganda (2013).