Lenin - November 7
Insert maquette (cca. 12 x 35 cm)
Paper, mixed technique.
Black and white propaganda poster artwork from the 1960s. It was created by Antal Gunda, to remember the October Revolution of Russia in 1917 which was a national celebration in Hungary during the Socialist era.
A new period started in Hungarian poster art after the 1956 revolution. The former Rákosi-regime was replaced by the Kádár-system, and the new political situation determined the cultural changes as well. The former great expansion of political propaganda posters of the 1950s came to an end as the new political leadership realized that political issues should be avoided on streets. Along with political propaganda posters commercial posters also disappeared for a while due to the lack of products and independent clients. On the other hand, the genre of cultural poster had its heyday in the 1960s and 1970s.
Although political matters could not appear on posters of the time, there was an exception: big annual political events, state celebrations and anniversaries. These events could fit in the range of cultural events and posters of them also could function as cultural posters. These annual events generated a separated type of cultural poster design and they also gave a hard task to poster designers. The topic was the same year by year and the iconography had its own recurrent elements: waving flags, emblematic state buildings and political symbols appeared in these posters. It didn’t belong to the fancied duty of poster artists neither, but it was a help in case of a constraint of financial matters.
Compared to the average number of copies of a poster (which was about 400-4000) these posters had a high number of copies, about 10-30 000. The size of the poster was bigger than average and the quality and thickness of the paper used was also better. So this genre was a special type from several aspects.
Antal Gunda created numerous poster artworks for state celebrations and anniversaries. This work was created for the anniversary of the 1917 Russian revolution which was celebrated in every country of the Soviet Union during the Socialist era. The celebration was held on the 7th of November, but the original revolution was in October accourding to the calendar Russia used in the period. As the event was forced to be an international celebration in the Eastern bloc, we can find numerous posters in the subject. The artist has several pieces of them in our collection in several styles and portrayals.
This work is a quite traditional propaganda piece as it uses a portray of a political leader, particularly Lenin. Many propraganda posters were produced using the same method in the previous decade, but those typical compositions also had to meet the strict requirements of Socialist Realism which was the compulsory aesthetic norm until 1956. This composition employs a black and white photoportray of Lenin, putting it in front of a black background. It is interesting that the artist used the same typography of the title on several poster artworks in the subject and several times he employed a sticking technique to create the composition, as in this case, too.
This poster artwork is a typical propaganda piece from the years of Socialist era in Hungary, although it could function as a cultural poster artwork because of the event it was created for.