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Depiction of Women in Poster Design in Ussr

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  1. Depiction of Women in Poster Design in USSR

Contents:

1. Main influences – women question, soviet art

2. Soviet art

2.1 Russian av ant-garde 1920-1930

- suprematism – algebra of design

- constructivism, productivism

- socialist realism

3. The woman question

3.1 Early 20 century

- Before 1920

- After 1920

3.2 “Solved forever”

3.3 WWII

- Forefront

- Home front

3.4 After the war

4. Examples  (to 3.1-3.4 respectively])

1. Main aspects

Poster is a quintessence of graphic design, which utilizes the whole set of available means in order to strike its primary goal – to convey a message. As for the graphic design, those means are primarily the means of visual art. Posters often include text elements, but even those are bound to obey the rules of visual art and being treated as a graphic object. Thus, when talking about the message of the poster, we aren’t referring to the text, but to the main idea behind the poster as a whole.

Comparing USSR propaganda posters depicting women we can trace the change of attitude towards the “women problem” in USSR and analyze the artistic decisions behind every design.

2. Firstly we have to address the history of design in Russia and USSR. Revolution in Russia as well as similar political changes in Germany led to the emergence of modern applied art schools, Bauhaus in Germany and Vhutemas is USSR. Vhutemas being a much larger school, but due to the Stalin regime and the Cold war its legacy being mostly destroyed. Luckily, wide exchange between the schools existed on every level, with many teachers and even a headmaster had been working at both schools.

2.1. Suprematism

Suprematism is an art movement, focused on basic geometric forms, such as circles, squares, lines, and rectangles, painted in a limited range of colors. It was founded by Kazimir Malevich in Russia, around 1913, and announced in Malevich's 1915 exhibition, The Last Futurist Exhibition of Paintings 0.10, in St. Petersburg, where he, alongside 13 other artists, exhibited 36 works in a similar style. The term suprematism refers to an abstract art based upon "the supremacy of pure artistic feeling" rather than on visual depiction of objects.

Malevich's Suprematism is fundamentally opposed to the postrevolutionary positions of Constructivism and materialism. Constructivism, with its cult of the object, is concerned with utilitarian strategies of adapting art to the principles of functional organization. Under Constructivism, the traditional easel painter is transformed into the artist-as-engineer in charge of organizing life in all of its aspects.

Suprematism, in sharp contrast to Constructivism, embodies a profoundly anti-materialist, anti-utilitarian philosophy.

Jean-Claude Marcadé has observed that "Despite superficial similarities between Constructivism and Suprematism, the two movements are nevertheless antagonists and it is very important to distinguish between them." According to Marcadé, confusion has arisen because several artists—either directly associated with Suprematism such as El Lissitzky or working under the suprematist influence as did Rodchenko and Lyubov Popova—later abandoned Suprematism for the culture of materials.

For Malevich, it is upon the foundations of absolute non-objectivity that the future of the universe will be built - a future in which appearances, objects, comfort, and convenience no longer dominate.

Suprematism had a few adherents among lesser-known artists, such as Ivan Klyun, Ivan Puni, and Olga Rozanova. While not affiliated with the movement, Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky showed the influence of Suprematism in the geometrization of his forms after 1920. This geometrical style, together with other abstract trends in Russian art, was transmitted by way of Kandinsky and El Lissitzky to Germany, particularly to the Bauhaus, in the early 1920s.

2.2 Constructivism and productivism

 A movement with origins in Russia, Constructivism was primarily an art and architectural movement. It rejected the idea of art for arts' sake and the traditional bourgeois class of society to which previous art had been catered. Instead it favored art as a practise directed towards social change or that would serve a social purpose. Developing after World War I, the movement sought to push people to rebuild society in a Utopian model rather than the one that had led to the war.

The term
construction art was first coined by Kasmir Malevich in reference to the work of Aleksander Rodchenko. Graphic Design in the constructivism movement ranged from the production of product packaging to logos, posters, book covers and advertisements. Rodchenko's graphic design works became an inspiration to many people in the western world including Jan Tschichold and the design motif of the constructivists is still borrowed, and stolen, from in much of graphic design today.

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