59 Posters That Shook The World


English-born David King
is an artist, designer, editor, photographer, photo historian and
archivist, who has been described as “one of the most significant
artistic-intellectual personalities of our time.” He also has a gallery
dedicated to his rotating collection of Russian revolutionary and avant
garde posters at the Tate Modern, London.  Its good to be King.

This October, Cleveland-based Productive Arts
gallery will exhibit (and sell) King’s graphic art and designs,
primarily the political and cultural posters and graphics he produced in
the late 1970s and mid 1980s, following his ten year (1965-1975) career
as art editor of the Sunday Times of London Color Magazine.

King’s style
is a mix of explosive sans serif typography, solid planes of vivid
color and emphatic rules; a modern reworking of the graphic language of
1920s Russian Constructivism before any of the exponents in the United
States adapted the same mannerisms.

Gallery owner Howard Garfinkel told me:

“There are 59 posters in the group we have assembled.
They represent almost all of David’s poster work. There is no other
collection like it, save the one David could possibly cobble together
from his archive. Our objective is to augment them with David’s other
graphic works/photography and have a retrospective somewhere. Also, we’d
like to find a buyer for the group of posters. The price would be

King’s posters offer a visual history of the global political
radicalization of the late 1960s and early 1970s, including the
Anti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa and the Anti-Nazi League in
Britain. He has written and designed books on the Russian Revolution and
the early years of Soviet rule, including a catalog for the first
exhibition in the West of the photography of the famous constructivist
Aleksandr Rodchenko (Museum of Modern Art Oxford, England, 1979); The Commissar Vanishes (1997); Ordinary Citizens (2003); and the recent Red Star Over Russia (2009).







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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.