B4 (cca. 25 x 35 cm)
Paint on cardboard.
Impressive poster design from the 1960s, created by Antal Gunda, a fine poster designer , to remember the October Revolution of Russia in 1917.
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 period. 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 modernist piece, connected to the visuality of the 1960s. The image contains only 3 colours: black, white and red. In front of a mostly black background the interesting, layered pattern of the foreground appears in white. The red star of Socialism can be seen above, as it jumps into the strong contrast of black and white. It is interesting that the whole design was created with a sticking technique.
The image can call really interesting associations – it can picture how the Socialism comes and sweeps away the maelstrom and mess around the world, or the red star of Socialism may also be identificated with the Aurora cruiser, one of the warships of Russia which became the symbol of the October Revolution of 1918, and the interesting pattern can refer to the waves of the ocean. Many other ideas can fit, but either way, the design aims to refer to the heroic event of the revolution and also to the heroic movement of Socialism which leads the rest of the world, as the political leadership wished.
This poster artwork is a decoratively abstract piece from the 1960s, which could be filled with political, symbolic content as well.