Tovarishchi rabochie, yesli ne khotite vozvrata k staromu igu, idite v ryadi kommunistov [Comrade Workers, If You Do Not Want to Return to the Old Yoke, Join the Ranks of the Communists!], a poster by an anonymous UKROSTA artist. Published by Kharkov Gubpechat, Kharkov, 1920. 62 x 53 cm.
The poster artist was clearly influenced by František Kupka’s The Golden Idol, likely through familiarity with a 1919 Russian poster based on Kupka’s idea (see lot 9 in our October 2014 Sale). The abbreviation UkROSTA stands for the Ukrainian Bureau of the Russian Telegraph Agency; the name was in use from January 1920 until April 1921. Accordingly, we date this poster to 1920, and not to 1919.
UkROSTA’s operational model was similar to the one adopted at the time by its Russian parent, and included an extensive visual propaganda operation. Many leading Soviet poster artists of the later period had started their career working in UkROSTA bureaus in major Ukrainian cities.