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Poster - Wählt Sozialdemokratisch
  • Wählt Sozialdemokratisch
    Biró, Mihály, born 1886 - died 1948
  • Enlarge image

Wählt Sozialdemokratisch

  • Object:

    Poster

  • Place of origin:

    Vienna (made)

  • Date:

    1920 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Biró, Mihály, born 1886 - died 1948 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour lithograph

  • Credit Line:

    Gift of the American Friends of the V&A; Gift to the American Friends by Leslie, Judith and Gabri Schreyer and Alice Schreyer Batko

  • Museum number:

    E.1111-2004

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case MM, shelf 8

Biró modelled his Hero-Worker motif on the Hungarian wrestling champion Tibor Fischer and first used the design in 1911 in 'Népszvava' [The People's Voice] newspaper. He left Hungary in 1919 when Admiral Horthy took power, and moved to Vienna to design posters for the Social Democrats. The artist's expressionist lines communicate his genuine commitment to the cause, and his 'Hero-Worker' revolutionised the party's image in the 1920 elections. The figure has since been taken up in diverse political contexts as a way of symbolising strength with a monumental and almost mythological quality.

Physical description

A large muscular man in a blacksmith's apron is shown holding a sledge hammer, facing a group of capitalist figures: a large man in a dark suit, a soldier, and two other figures whose eyes are shut and arms are outstretched in denial. Their feet are surrounded by bulging sacks of money with the Austrian Parliament Building in the background. Text below in German.

Place of Origin

Vienna (made)

Date

1920 (made)

Artist/maker

Biró, Mihály, born 1886 - died 1948 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Colour lithograph

Marks and inscriptions

'Gegen die Einheitsfront des / Kapitalismus - die Einheitsfront / Derarbeitenden Menschen! / WÄHLT / SOZIALDEMOKRATISCH'
Down with the united front of capitalism - the united front of working people! Vote Social Democratic
printed in pale red tones over five lines across the lower margin

Dimensions

Height: 122.5 cm, Width: 95.7 cm

Descriptive line

Election poster for Social Democratic Party designed by Mihály Biró, colour lithograph; Vienna, 1920

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Noever, Peter (Ed.), Pathos in Red (MAK Wien, 2011), p.87

Labels and date

Mihály Biró was one of the first poster artists to portray the ordinary worker as a hero. In this election poster for the Social Democratic Workers’ Party of Austria, the workers’ movement is embodied in a herculean figure preparing to smash his way through ‘the united front of capitalism’ to get to Parliament behind.

A World to Win: Posters of Protest and Revolution, V&A, Galleries 88a and 90, (1 May-2 Nov 2014) [01/05/2014-02/11/2014]

Materials

Paper; Ink

Techniques

Colour lithography

Subjects depicted

Building; Socialism; Politics; Capitalism; Money; Elections; Propaganda

Categories

Prints; Propaganda; Posters

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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