Introduction

Visual Index (Entire Poster Collection)

Catalogue

Chronology of the War

Acknowledgements

Lists of References

Afterword: Herbert R. Southworth Collection


 

[Worker's arm, hammer and anvil]

[-]. José Bardasano. Partido Comunista de España, Comite Provincial de Madrid, Secretaria de Agit-Prop Lithograph, green; 97 x 67 cm

José Bardasano, an artist active with the Partido Comunista de España (PCE), created this poster as part of an eight-poster series. Each poster serves to illustrate one of the eight points listed in a document entitled Condiciones Para Ganar La Guerra (Conditions for Winning the War) published by the Comite Central del Partido Comunista de España (Central Committee of the Spanish Communist Party) on December 18, 1936. The number four in the upper right corner indicates that this poster corresponds to the fourth condition. All eight conditions are as follows:

  1. That a Government as the real [government] has full authority and that all respect, observe and apply its decisions.
  2. That it introduces obligatory military service. That it gives to our army a single administration.
  3. That it imposes iron discipline in the rearguard.
  4. That it nationalizes and reorganizes our basic industries beginning with the industries of war.
  5. That it creates a Coordinating Council for industry and the Economy in general, in which all technicians and specialists of the Popular Front are represented.
  6. That it introduces worker control of production.
  7. That in the countryside it produces whatever is missing for the front and the rearguard on the basis of a plan, but that it respects the product of the work, whether individual or collective, of the peasant masses.
  8. That it coordinates agricultural and industrial production and that all builds toward one objective: Winning the war.

These "conditions" for winning the war and Bardasano's posters were promulgated during a period of in fighting between the various groups - socialists, communists, and republicans - that comprised Republican Spain over the organization of society and the execution of the war. In the first few months after the start of the war in July 1936, many communist organizations and revolutionary socialist leaders used the phrase, "First win the war, and then we can talk about revolution. Francisco Largo Caballero, the socialist prime minister and minister of war of Republican Spain from September 1936 to May 1937, would later revise this slogan to simply state: "First win the war." In spite of the general call for focusing efforts on the war, many communist groups still took advantage of war context to push for reforms in the organization of Republican society and economy as evidenced in the conditions listed above.

This poster corresponds to condition four regarding the nationalization and reorganization of industry. Laborers are represented by the arm clasping a hammer with which it is striking an anvil. The hammer was a common symbol of revolutionary communist movements during this period. Behind the hammer and anvil are the outlines of ships and airplanes - industrial products vital to winning the war against the nationalists. Consequently, the poster establishes the link between reorganization of labor in the rearguard and winning the war at the front.

The artist, José Bardasano (1910-1979), was the child of Madrid working-class parents. Although a largely self-taught artist, Bardasano also studied painting at the Escuela de Artes y Oficios de Madrid (Madrid School of Arts and Trades). After spending 1935 abroad on a scholarship, he returned to Madrid and worked as an illustrator for newspapers and magazines. During the war, Bardasano continued his work in publishing and illustrating various printed periodicals. Already a member of the communist-controlled JSU (Juventud Socialista Unificada), Bardasano immediately established a workshop with two colleagues and produced numerous propaganda prints and posters for the Communist Party. In 1937, Bardasano and his wife, the artist, Juana Francisca, moved to Valencia, where they continued to produce propaganda posters. Bardasano's work was mostly produced for the Partido Comunista de España (PCE) and the JSU. At the end of the war, Bardasano and Francisca spent some time in a French concentration camp, after which they took exile in Mexico. Here Bardasano formed the Mexican Fine Arts Circle with a number of other Civil War exiles and Mexican nationals. In 1960, he returned to Madrid. Other examples of Bardasano's work in the exhibit include posters 42, 51. 53 and 94.

 
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