Laughter is a Devastating Weapon (Tate Publishing, October 2015) is an exciting new publication devoted to the work of German artist John Heartfield (1891-1968), known for his incomparably dark, mocking, politically pointed photocollages. The title aptly refers to the satirical power of Heartfield’s artistic efforts, which earned him one of the top positions on the Nazis’ “most wanted list” when they came to power in 1933; it nearly cost him his life.
Authors David King and Ernst Volland present a fascinating group of Heartfield images from King’s own collection. Volland is a German artist, whose work includes photomontages, as well as efforts in other media. Also an author and curator, Volland has brought to light overlooked figures such as Yevgeni Khaldei, the Soviet photographer best known for the iconic image of a Soviet soldier raising a flag over the Reichstag in Berlin in May 1945.
King pursued a decades-long interest in the Russian Revolution and its graphic representation, and the relation of the visual to the historical record. He produced numerous works on the 1917 Revolution and the role of Stalinism, as well as several works about Leon Trotsky and the Left Opposition. One of the books he designed was How the GPU Murdered Trotsky, published in 1976 by the International Committee of the Fourth International.
Jeff Lusanne World Socialist Web Site http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/12/28/hear-d28.html
|Author||David King and Ernst Volland|
|About the Author||The death of David King on May 11, 2016 deprives the world of a great artist and historian. The sense of loss is increased by the fact that it has come on the eve of the centenary of the Russian Revolution of 1917. How much David would have had to show and say in 2017!
King devoted his extraordinary gifts as an artist to salvaging the historical truth of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and its aftermath from beneath the vast and now wrecked edifice of Stalinist crimes and lies. His life work was concentrated on the research, design and writing of books that chronicled the history of that great event. From the 1970s on, he devoted himself to chronicling the life and work of Leon Trotsky.
Tireless historical research underlay all of David’s major published books over the past 45 years. Each book he produced was based on years of work. Traveling the world in search of artifacts of the Russian Revolution, he collected some 250,000 items - from photographs, posters and government documents to coffee mugs.
For full obituary, see http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/05/14/king-m14.html