105 × 148mm
'Building Socialism Under the Banner of Lenin' from 1930
From a poster held at Tate by Latvian photographer and designer Gustav Klutsis, a leading member of the Constructivist avant-garde in the early 20th century.
Klutsis had a strong personal allegiance to Lenin and had been a member of the Latvian riflemen which formed Lenin’s personal bodyguard during the days of the October Revolution. It was this Latvian affiliation that would apparently lead to his arrest and execution in 1938 under Stalin.
One could speculate that by placing Stalin so deeply in Lenin’s shadow, Klutsis was making a veiled criticism of the leadership of Stalin, and asserting the unique qualities of Lenin as Bolshevik leader.