Published July 27, 2018 by Tom Porter

Dissecting Soviet Propaganda Posters: Gustav Klutsis and the Five-Year Plan

The Bowdoin College Museum of Art’s Soviet poster exhibition explores the remarkably wide-ranging body of propaganda posters created as an artistic consequence of the 1917 Russian Revolution.
Dissecting Soviet Propaganda Posters: Gustav Klustis and the Five-Year Plan

Among those on display is Gustav Klutsis, a pioneering, Latvian-born artist renowned for the use of montage techniques. Klutsis’s work has caught the attention of Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Russian Nicholas Kupensky, who recently delivered a gallery talk looking at three of his works in particular.

It’s important to consider the posters, created in 1930 and 1931, in their precise historical context, said Kupensky. With the political revolution over, it was now time for an industrial revolution. Revolutionary leader Lenin had died in 1924 and his successor, General Secretary Joseph Stalin in 1928 started his first Five-Year Plan to build up the Soviet economy.

Constructing Revolution: Soviet Propaganda Posters from between the World Wars leaves Bowdoin on Sunday, February 11, 2018. The exhibition then moves to The Wolfsonsonian in Miami Beach, FL, where it will run from April to August.