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.
‘[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
‘collects the poster art of Cuba, China, Mongolia, North Korea, the Soviet Union, Vietnam, and Eastern Europe . . . this encyclopedic study puts to rest the notion that communist propaganda art consists of nothing but kitschy images of apple-cheeked proletarians.’ – Publishers’ Weekly
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).