By: Steven Heller | September 15, 2010
English-born David Kingis an artist, designer, editor, photographer, photo historian andarchivist, who has been described as “one of the most significantartistic-intellectual personalities of our time.” He also has a gallerydedicated to his rotating collection of Russian revolutionary and avantgarde posters at the Tate Modern, London. Its good to be King.
This October, Cleveland-based Productive Artsgallery will exhibit (and sell) King’s graphic art and designs,primarily the political and cultural posters and graphics he produced inthe late 1970s and mid 1980s, following his ten year (1965-1975) careeras art editor of the Sunday Times of London Color Magazine.
King’s styleis a mix of explosive sans serif typography, solid planes of vividcolor and emphatic rules; a modern reworking of the graphic language of1920s Russian Constructivism before any of the exponents in the UnitedStates 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 othercollection like it, save the one David could possibly cobble togetherfrom his archive. Our objective is to augment them with David’s othergraphic works/photography and have a retrospective somewhere. Also, we’dlike to find a buyer for the group of posters. The price would bereasonable.”
King’s posters offer a visual history of the global politicalradicalization of the late 1960s and early 1970s, including theAnti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa and the Anti-Nazi League inBritain. He has written and designed books on the Russian Revolution andthe early years of Soviet rule, including a catalog for the firstexhibition in the West of the photography of the famous constructivistAleksandr Rodchenko (Museum of Modern Art Oxford, England, 1979); The Commissar Vanishes (1997); Ordinary Citizens (2003); and the recent Red Star Over Russia (2009).