All of Us or None.

Author:Comeau, Patty
Position:Book review

Lincoln Cushing (author); ALL OF US OR NONE; Heyday Books (Nonfiction: Culture) 25.00 ISBN: 9781597141857

Byline: Patty Comeau

All of Us or None: Social Justice Posters of the San Francisco Bay Area takes us from the streets into the trenches of some of the twentieth century's most vibrant social justice struggles: in the small print shops and art collectives producing the posters on display, passionate folks were making revolution as fast as the ink could dry.

The book explores the value of poster art in connecting people to social justice movements and seeks to establish legitimacy for these prints within the artistic cannon. Both "a tool for public democratic debate" and realistic fundraising opportunities for artists within low-income communities, art posters as a medium suit San Francisco's reputation as a city where people speak up for themselves, and against the mainstream.

The collection is well organized in the style of exhibition catalogs (All of Us or None is on view at the Oakland Museum of California this summer): it flows fairly smoothly and chronologically from the "long 1950s" that laid the groundwork for an explosion of rebellion against conformity through to the modern era of digital typesetting and international solidarity in a global common struggle. Aiming "to gather a broadly representative sample of a vast, collective work of social art," the book generally succeeds in providing examples of -- and the context surrounding -- a wide range of socially provocative prints.

Some of the most...

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