Chelsea History Festival | Art that Destroys Tyrannies

Date: 20 September
Time: 18:30
Venue:  Online
Online platform

"If you want to create a poster, try to explain your idea in a sentence. Then try to reduce it, leave out phrases, attributes until you just have the bare essentials. When you do not need any letters at all, you are ready with the poster."

Meet István Orosz, poster designer and animator. In the 1980s, he was a poster designer for museums, theatres, galleries, and cinemas during the day and a member of multiple, illegal anti-Communist artist groups during the night. Istvan’s work is praised internationally for a postmodern approach using archaic forms, art historical references, stylistic quotations and playful self-reflection.

His political activism peaked in 1989 when he designed a political poster on nations beyond the Iron Curtain standing up against Soviet-style communist oppression. It was entitled "Tovarishi Koniec" (meaning Comrades, it is over). It was adopted by the campaign for Hungary's first democratically elected government (of the now-defunct MDF party), quickly turning into an international symbol of the regime changes in Central and Eastern Europe.

In this talk, István Orosz will discuss his use of symbolism in graphic design and offer an insight into the unique artistic atmosphere of the 1980s in a country on the brink of democratisation.

This talk is brought to you by the Hungarian Cultural Centre, London and the Hungarian Art Academy, in association with the Chelsea History Festival.


István Orosz is a Hungarian poster designer, graphic artist, and an animated film maker. He was trained as a graphic designer at the University of Arts and Design in Budapest. His individual graphic works of art are often related to postmodernism, showcasing archaic forms, art historical references, stylistic quotations, and playful self-reflection. He is film director at the Pannonia Film Studio in Budapest and professor at University of West Hungary in Sopron and co-founder of Hungarian Poster Association. He was elected to the Alliance Graphique Internationale and both Art Academies in Hungary.