The Russian avant-garde film posters of the mid-1920’s to early 1930’s are unlike any film posters ever created. Although the period of artistic freedom in the Soviet Union was brief, these powerful, startling images remain among the most brilliant and imaginative posters ever conceived. The Russian film poster artists experimented with the same innovative cinematic techniques used in the films they were advertising, such as extreme close-ups, unusual angles and dramatic proportions. They montaged disparate elements, such as adding photography to lithography, and juxtaposed the action from one scene with a character from another. They colored human faces with vivid colors, elongated and distorted body shapes, gave animal bodies to humans and turned film credits into an integral part of the design. There were no rules, except to follow one’s imagination.
The 1917 Revolution changed life in Russia politically, socially and artistically. Art became regarded as an important force in shaping the future of the new State. Slogans such as ‘Art into Life’ and ‘Art into Technology’ expressed the popular belief that art had the power to transform lives on every level. It was a time of artistic experimentation, a kind of spontaneous combustion caused by the charged atmosphere and the radical changes in art and life. Diverse art styles, such as Constructivism and Realism, Analytical Art and Proletarian Art, developed simultaneously and, seemingly irreconcilably, together. Bold new directions in art, including suprematism, non-objectivism and cubofuturism, emerged in this fertile period of change.