The Russian Revolution in the Collections of David King

One-hundred years after the October Revolution, the heroic and hopeful banners of its protagonists still flutter as if moved by winds of protest. The Tate Modern celebrates the most intense years of Russian history in an exhibition entitled Red Star over Russia. A Revolution in Visual Culture 1905-55, hosting various objects from the extraordinary collection of photographer and graphic designer David King, acquired by the Tate in 2016. He was truly passionate, Mr. King with his treasure trove which - today representing the most complete collection in the world of material relative to Russia’s most dynamic years - includes more than 250.000 items, gathered during his work for the Sunday Times. Rare propaganda posters, prints and photographs archived by King - some of which bear traces of State censorship - mixed with works by El Lissitzky, Gustav Klutsis, Dmitrij Moor, Aleksandr Deineka, Nina Vatolina and Evgenij Chaldej, offering visitors an emotional voyage through an important chapter in history. Portraying those years, shaken from the start of the Revolution, in 1917, by civil war and Stalin’s massive repression, are around 250 “mementos”, including posters, paintings, books, photographs, many on display for the first time. All testifying to the impact that historic events had on the social and artistic panorama of those years.
Samantha De Martin - © 2017 for Bulgari Hotel London