Smert' nemetsko-fashstskim zakhvatchikam! [Death to Fascist German Invaders!], a poster by Nikolai Avvakumov (1908-1945). Iskusstvo, Moscow, 1945, 52 x 78 cm.
Upon graduation from the Perm Art School, Nikolai Avvakumov volunteered to become a propaganda artist at Magnitostroi, one of the major Soviet industrialization projects. He was also elected secretary of the local Komsomol chapter; this combination of activities eventually earned him a transfer to Moscow, and an “artist correspondent” position at the main Komsomol newspaper, Komsomol'skaya Pravda. A talented draftsman, Avvakumov soon became a successful supplier of portraits of Soviet leaders and historic personalities for leading Moscow publishers.
Most of Avvakumov's posters date to two relatively short periods: one in the beginning of the war, before he had volunteered for army duty, and another from 1944 onwards, after he was transferred to the Military Artists Studio. By that time, Avvakumov's health was declining, and he died at the young age of 37.