• Steven Heller

Weekend Heller: David King’s Jewel In The Crown

Production Arts has another important collection for sale. Sixty posters designed by art director and collector of the Russian Avant Garde, David King (1943-2016). This collection features political and cultural posters King produced in the late 1970s and mid-1980s, following his ten-year (1965-1975) career as art editor of the then ground-breaking Sunday Times of London color magazine. King’s style is “an easily recognizable mix of explosive sans serif typography, solid planes of vivid color and emphatic rules is seen by some as a modern channeling of the graphic language of 1920s Russian Constructivism and photomontage. He arguably introduced this language to a generation of graphic designers in Europe and the United States. King was old school — he cut and pasted images and created the original camera-ready art. It was all black and white photolithography. He then would instruct the printer on where the colors were to be on the design. King’s poster work presaged the birth of computer-aided graphic techniques for commercial and political messages. His work may recall issues thought long won, but they remain relevant to this day.