Poster Plakat A Collection of Posters from the Soviet Union and its Satellite Nations

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Kh.M. (Khudozhestvenye Masterskie)

Kh.M. is the abbreviation for State Free Artists' Studios [Khudozhestvenye Masterskie], a poster arts cooperative under Izogiz publishers. In 1930, Kh.M studios existed in Moscow and Leningrad turning out propaganda for the First Five-Year Plan and period of collectivization. Therefore, the earliest poster works created by the cooperative largely reflect these two themes. 

Collective methods were used in the creation of each Kh.M poster.  In Moscow for example, labor was executed with the monumental section of the Academy of Arts working in concert with lithography graduates at VKhuTEIN [Higher Art and Technical Institute]. Because each workshop was organized as a group, there was collective discussion and criticism about the art produced. While the artistic portions of the work were largely collective, technical operations in poster construction were performed individually. Work was divided into three stages: design, composition and performance, with brigades carrying out the stages together. Owing to this style of collaboration, individual authorship on a poster was sacrificed for the sake of the collective.  No matter the number of artists involved in a poster's execution, the poster artist was simply identified by a distinctive "XM" Cyrillic chop mark.

Sources & Citations

Degot, Ekaterina (2006), Borba za znamya: Sovetskoe iskusstvo mezhdu Trotskim i Stalinym 1926-1936.  Moscow: Izdatelskaya programma Moskovskogo muzeya sovremennogo iskusstva.