Lot 59

KORETSKY, V. Sign Up for the Red Cross and Red Crescent's Training Courses for Nurses! , 1942

Vstupaite na kursy medsester ob-v Krasnogo Kresta i Krasnogo Polumesyatsa [Sign Up for Red Cross and Red Crescent's Training Courses for Nurses! ], a poster by Viktor Koretsky. Produced at the Red Cross artistic workshop, Moscow, 1942, 59 x 91 cm.

Koretsky worked closely with the Red Cross through the Great Patriotic War, not only producing posters himself, but also attracting and training new artists for the Red Cross artistic workshop. Among his students there were such artists as L. Golovanov and F. Antonov; both went on to become recognized masters of the poster genre. Koretsky's ties to the Red Cross organization remained strong through the post-war years — see lots 103, 104.  

Viktor Koretsky was a graduate of the Moscow Technical Schhol of Illustrative Arts (class of 1929). While he worked in other graphic genres, and even occasionally tried his hand as a stage artist, from 1931 on posters were his main specialty. Starting in the advertising field, Koretsky successfully experimented with a mixed technique that combined photographs with pencil drawings and gouache, which became his “calling card” at the time. He then started applying it to propaganda posters that had to pass the much tougher ideological scrutiny of publishers sensitive to party ideologues' pronouncements about the appropriate poster style.

As a political posterist, Koretsky rose to prominence during WWII. His wartime success to a degree preserved the legitimacy of photomontage (suitably adjusted to fit the constraints of the Socialist Realism ideology) as a valid technique for a Soviet political poster of the post-war period.

To this day, Koretsky remains one of the most popular Soviet poster artists. In the view of this describer, the secret of artist's success lies in his refusal to stick to the “tried and true” — he never got tired of experimenting, and his style continued to evolve with time. Because of this, one can't talk about Koretsky's “best period,” and his late dynamic works of the 1960s and 1970s deserve as much attention the works of the wartime period. For a detailed review of Koretsky's body of work, viewers are referred to Koretsky: The Soviet Photo Poster: 1930-1984, Erika Wolf (editor), The New Press, 2012.

Opening Price: $800

Estimate: $800-$1200

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