The eruption of the First World War, the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917, and the subsequent civil war broke down established political and social structures and brought an end to the Tsarist Empire. Russia was split into antagonistic worlds, and the deft manipulation of public opinion was integral to the violent class struggle. Having seized power in 1917, the Bolsheviks immediately recognized posters as a critical means to tout the revolution's triumph. Posters supplied the new iconography, converting Communist aspirations into readily accessible, urgent, public art.
Constructing Revolution explores the remarkable and wide-ranging body of propaganda posters as an artistic consequence of the 1917 revolution. Marking the revolution's centennial, this book delves into a relatively short-lived era of unprecedented experimentation and utopian idealism that produced some of the most iconic images in the history of graphic design. The book surveys genres and methods of early Soviet poster design and introduces the most prominent artists of the movement. Reflecting the turbulent and ultimately tragic history of Russia in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, it charts the formative decades of the USSR and demonstrates the tight bond between Soviet art and ideology.