Meet Hugo Gellert, creator of the twentieth-century blue- and white-collar counterparts to the ancient mythical figure of Ixion, pinned for eternity by the demands of capitalism to their wheels of unremitting labour. The lithograph is entitled ‘Prolongation of the Working Day’, and is number 46 in the series of lithographs Gellert (1892-1985) created to illustrate Karl Marx’s Das Kapital at the height of the Depression (1934).
Gellert was a Hungarian-American radical lithographer, whose dazzling modernist agitational art, including his profoundly topical updated illustrated version of Aesop’s Fables as Aesop Said So (1936), have finally been recognised in the USA for the blindingly original contribution that they were.
Other classically themed lithographs in his self-styled ‘translation into graphic form of the revolutionary concepts of Das Kapital’ include a portrait of Aristotle and an idealised figure of a hoplite warrior.
See Prof. Sara Monoson’s exclusive C&C video about Gellert.