• PrintMag

59 Posters That Shook The World

By: Steven Heller | September 15, 2010



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 reasonable.”

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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