Exhibition: Designed in Cuba: Cold War Graphics

This exhibition CLOSED on Sun, 19th Jan 2020

This exhibition has finished.

Coronavirus: Events may be cancelled and venues closed at short notice, you are advised to check on their websites before making a trip.

Cost: £8.80

Much of Cuba’s iconic graphic design is instantly recognizable the world over. But alongside the familiar image of Che Guevara, Cuban artists have produced uncompromising design and illustration to deliver Cuba’s revolutionary message around the world. These works have rarely been seen – until now.

Designed in Cuba: Cold War Graphics is the first major exhibition of graphic design from Cuba’s ‘golden age’. It brings together 115 posters and 70 magazines distributed across the globe by OSPAAAL: Fidel Castro’s Organisation of Solidarity of the People of Asia, Africa and Latin America, an organisation founded to promote cooperation between socialist countries and liberation movements.

From 1966 until 2019, OSPAAL’s designers in Havana produced hundreds of posters and magazines that expressed solidarity with the U.S.A.’s Black Panther Party, condemned apartheid in South Africa and the Vietnam War and celebrated Latin America’s revolutionary icons. Some of their messages, such as criticism of U.S. military bases in Guantanamo Bay and support for the unity of North and South Korea, remain pertinent today.

Throughout the Cold War, artists including Alfredo Rostgaard, Helena Serrano, Rafael Enríquez and Gladys Acosta Ávila produced provocative posters and bold editorial design for Tricontinental, an illustrated magazine that featured articles by radical public figures, both expected – like Che Guevara and Malcolm X - and unexpected, like Jean-Paul Sartre and Jane Fonda.

The works in the exhibition were produced by 33 designers, many of them women. All were created between 1965 and 1992, reframing the familiar story of the Cold War through a wholly unfamiliar angle.

Contact and Booking Details

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House of Illustration,

2 Granary Square,
King's Cross London,

Map of House of Illustration