Propastop Library: Gustav Klucis


If you are interested in propaganda and visual influencing, it is your last chance to visit the Kumu gallery. The Latvian Gustav Klucis’s classical visual propaganda exhibition is open until 25 August 2019.

Klucis can be considered one of the most famous Latvian artists, whose best-known works have been created in Soviet Russia. Klucis’s innovative technological photo collage of posters is directed towards the development of advertising and visual influencing. There is also an ironic tragedy in his story – Klucis was the victim of repression from the same regime in which his art helped advocate its coming to power.

Here are a number of links where you can read more fully about the artist:

Kumu’s introduction to the exhibition. Historian David Vseviov and artist Leonhard Lapin talk about Klucis in Kumu’s video.

An article in the Eesti Päevaleht about the artist, written by journalist Indrek Tark.

Pictures and texts about Klucis in the art blog The Charnel-house, including Klucis’s own article on the creation of photo posters in 1931.

A Bowdoin College video analyzing the hidden meanings of Klucis posters (in English).

Video lecture on Klucis by lecturer Christina Lodder (in English)

Latvian director Peter Krilovs’ film „Klucis. The deconstruction of an artist“. We found the Russian language version first and second parts on YouTube. In true propagandist spirit, the film on Russian television has been titled „Klucis. Not a real Latvian“.

Ants Juske’s article in the Eesti Päevaleht on Soviet posters.


Klucis’ illustration in the „Noor kaardivägi“ (The young guardian force), 1924. Photo Phil Gyford /Flickr /CC

Klucis election poster: Photo Garrett Ziegler /Flickr / CC