CURRENT EXHIBITIONS

08 April — 03 May 2014

PAST EXHIBITIONS

21 September — 20 December 2013
07 June — 31 August 2013
Kino/Film: Soviet Posters of the Silent Screen 17 January — 29 March 2014
FREE ENTRY

As the UK/Russia year of culture begins, this exciting exhibition examines the golden age of Soviet film posters and is co-curated by Elena Sudakova, director of GRAD, and film critic and art historian Lutz Becker. In collaboration with Antikbar.
The 1920s saw the advent of new and radical graphic design created to advertise silent films across the Soviet Union. Film posters of this era have become masterpieces in their own right, produced at a time when innovative on-screen techniques were being incorporated into the design of advertisements. Some 30 works by the brothers Georgii and Vladimir Stenberg, Yakov Ruklevsky, Aleksandr Naumov, Mikhail Dlugach and Nikolai Prusakov, are on display.

During the mid- to late-1920s cinema flourished in the Soviet Union. A relatively new art form, film matched the revolutionary ethos of an emerging generation of artists for whom fine art was deemed bourgeois. The advantages of using film as a propaganda tool for the largely illiterate masses were not lost on the government, who supported the burgeoning film industry. A state-controlled organisation, Sovkino, managed the distribution of foreign films, including those from the US which were very popular; profits were used to subsidise domestic film production. These Soviet films soon gained an international reputation through feature-length masterworks such as Battleship Potemkin

Under the umbrella of Sovkino, Reklam Film was the department that controlled the production of film posters across the USSR and at its helm was designer Yakov Ruklevsky, who engaged a number of talented young artists. They created a whole new visual vocabulary for film posters, both foreign and domestic, incorporating the practices they saw on-screen. As the films were black and white, the designers employed their artistic licence to great effect, using vivid colour blocking and dynamic typographical experiments to capture the essence of each production, sometimes without having even seen it. The result is a body of work which is both powerful and enduring. 

Projected alongside the posters are excerpts of seminal films, including October, The End of St Petersburg and Storm Over Asia, showcasing the innovative techniques employed by the poster artists and film-makers of this era, and highlighting the symbiotic relationship between the pioneering vision of directors such as Sergei Eisenstein and Vsevolod Pudovkin and the output of the poster artists engaged to promote them. Techniques such as cinematic montage, repetition, asymmetric viewpoints and dramatic foreshortenings were used in the creation of both the films and the posters, leading to the appearance of a distinctive and highly influential body of design. Mass produced during the 1920s, the posters were made for one use only and few originals survive. The exhibition at GRAD is a rare opportunity to see these seminal works, many of which have not been exhibited in the UK before.


An Interactive Exhibition



GRAD is delighted to collaborate with Blippar, the augmented reality app, to make Kino/Film: Soviet Posters of the Silent Screen an enriching interactive experience. Just download the app onto your smart-phone and point it at selected posters to transform it into an audio guide, read additional information or to buy a reproduction of the poster.


The full audio guide is also available to listen here:




High quality reproductions of all posters are available in two sizes, A3 and A1.  Posters are printed in limited numbers on 240gsm heavyweight paper. To order, please call us on +44 (0)20 7637 7274 or place an order when you visit the gallery. 

A3 - £ 30
A1 - £ 75

All images courtesy Antikbar, with the exception of the poster for Battleship Potemkin, courtesy Christie's

                     

Mikhail Dlugach 
109 x 72.5 
1928 
The Uprising 
USSR, 1929 
Director Semyon Timoshenko                      

Aleksandr Naumov 
101 x 70.5 
1927 
Oil 
USSR, 1927 
Directors Nikolai Lebdev                               
and Aleksandr Litvinov
Mikhail Dlugach                                         
106 x 71 
1928 
Cement 
USSR, 1927 
Director Vladimir Vilner                 
           
Georgii and Vladimir Stenberg
109 x 71.5                   
1929
Turksib
USSR, 1929
Director Viktor Turin


                     
Georgii and Vladimir Stenberg                       
109 x 73.5 
1926 
The Screw from Another Machine   
USSR, 1926 
Director Aleksandr Talanov 

Georgii and Vladimir Stenberg                    
109 x 74 
c. 1928 
Sport Fever 
USSR, 1928 
Directors Alfred Dobbelt and
Boris Nikiforov
Georgii and Vladimir Stenberg                       
101.5 x 72
1927
Knight's Move
Original title Le Miracle des Loups     
France, 1924
Director Raymond Bernard   
Nikolai Prusakov 
104.5 x 72 
Date unknown 
A Dancer's Career 
Original title Lille Lise Let-Paa Taa 
Denmark, 1924 
Director Lau Lauritzen


                     
Nikolai Prusakov                                       
108.5 x 71.5
1926
The Second Exhibition of                   
Film Posters


Izrail Bograd                                                       
125.5 x 95
1927
The End of Saint Petersburg                  
USSR, 1927
Director Vsevolod Pudovkin

Semyon Semyonov-Menes                                  
93.5 x 72.5
c. 1927
Storm Over Asia
Original title The Heir of Genghis Khan  
USSR, 1928
Director Vsevolod Pudovkin
Author unknown
108 x 60
1928
Marriage on a Bet
Original title Liebeskarneval
Germany, 1928
Director Augusto Genina


                     
Author unknown
108.5 x 72.5
1928
Heroes of the Blast Furnace
USSR, 1928
Director Evgenii Ivanov-Barkov                 
 
Georgii and Vladimir Stenberg          
101 x 72
1926
The Three Million Case
Ussr, 1926
Director Iakov Protazanov                             

Author Unknown
108 x 71
c. 1926
A Life for a Life
Original title Dagfin                       
Germany, 1926
Director Joe May                                        
Author unknown
108 x 72.5
1928
Dare We Stay Quiet
Original title Durfen wir schweigen?
Germany, 1926
Director Richard Oswald


                     
Nikolai Prusakov
and Grigorii Borisov  
136 x 107
1928
A Woman from the Fair                    
USSR (Georgia), 1928                                    
Director Georgii Makarov
Georgii and Vladimir Stenberg          
107 x 71 (one of eight parts)                            
1927
October
USSR, 1926
Directors Grigorii Aleksandrov
and Sergei Eisenstein
Georgii and Vladimir Stenberg     
94 x 62
1929
Death Loop
Original title Die Todesschleife
Germany, 1928
Director Arthur Robinson                        
Iakov Ruklevskii
205 x 100.5
1927
October
USSR, 1927
Directors Grigorii Aleksandrov
and Sergei Eisenstein


                     
Georgii and Vladimir Stenberg                          
139 x 102
1927
A Man and a Livery
Original title Der letzte Mann
Germany, 1924
Director Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau     
Georgii and Vladimir Stenberg                              
143 x 108
1928
A Real Gentleman
Original title A Perfect Gentleman         
USA, 1928
Director Clyde Bruckman
Georgii and Vladimir Stenberg                     
95 x 63
1929
Engineer Strong's Project
Original title Not for Publication
USA, 1927
Director Ralph Ince                          
Semyon Semyonov-Menes
126.5 x 95.5
c. 1927
The End of Saint Petersburg
USSR, 1927
Director Vsevolod Pudovkin


                 
Viktor Klimashin                                        
91 x 66.5
1935
Death of Sensation
USSR, 1935
Director Aleksandr Andrievskii         
Georgii and Vladimir Stenberg                         
107 x 71
1927
Decembrists
USSR, 1926
Director Aleksandr Ivanovskii       
Georgii and Vladimir Stenberg
67 x 90
1925
Battleship Potemkin
USSR, 1925
Director Sergei Eisenstein





‘KINO/FILM: Soviet Posters of the Silent Screen’

Edited by Elena Sudakova and Alex Chiriac

95 pages, fully illustrated

Book Contents:

  • 'Kino: Revolution, 'Film and Design' by Lutz Becker
  • ‘Soviet Cinema and the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’ by Alexandra Chiriac
  • Biographies of Film Directors
  • Biographies of Film Poster Designers
£25