Word and Image: Visual Experiments of Russian Artists, 1910s-30s

Unidentified artist, Poster for Sergei M. Eisenstein’s film “October,” 1928
Oct 14, 2006 - Mar 25, 2007
Russian Art Gallery

For the Russian avant-garde of the early twentieth century, crossing the border between visual and verbal was an important element in their quest for artistic freedom. As a result, artists and poets often collaborated closely on books that abound with pictures in dialogue with the text.

In the 1920s, when such media as photomontage and photography rapidly advanced, political texts entered a close relationship with visual arts. Promoting the concepts of function and communication, Aleksandr Rodchenko, Gustav Klutsis, and other constructivist artists designed all forms of printed matter, including posters, books, and catalogues. These artists introduced radical new ideas and forms to graphic design – notably, the value of the diagonal as a dynamic device, the effect of layering letters over each other, and a combination of different fonts.

Unidentified artist

Poster for Sergei M. Eisenstein’s film “October,” 1928

Lithograph on paper mounted on linen

Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers 

Ralph and Barbara Voorhees Fund