Lot 10

ANONYMOUS ARTIST. Socialist Competition Is the Way to Victory, [1931]

Sotsialisticheskoye sorevnovaniye — put' k pobede [Socialist Competition Is the Way to Victory], a poster by an unidentified artist, [1931], 55.5 x 79.5 cm.

With minimalist means, the anonymous artist conveys both the difficulty of the backbreaking work in the wintery forest and the workers' resolve to get the job done. The angular design and the (likely deliberate) lack of individualization of workers images — “the true hero is the collective” — bring to mind similar RAPP-influenced works of the early Industrialization period, like The All-Union Shock Worker Day (1931).

The first Socialist Competition propaganda campaign started in earnest in 1929 , after receiving a major boost with the publication of the Stalin's article “On Socialist Competition“ (in Pravda, May 1929). After that, posters promoting competition became the standard fodder of Soviet propaganda - although their style had undergone considerable changes after 1932, with attention shifting to individual contributions and accountability of participants. This said, the poster bears no imprint, so our 1930-1931 dating is really just a guess. We would not be surprised though to find eventually that this poster was produced a well known artist.

Opening Price: $800

Estimate: $800-$1200

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