Alexander Rodchenko's Construction no. 95 sets artist record

Alexander Rodchenko's Construction no. 95 led an auction of Russian art at Sotheby's London on November 29, achieving a record £3.6m ($4.5m).

It soared past the previous Rodchenko record of $646,000.

Rodchenko painting Sothebys
This Rodchenko painting was one of his last major works left in private hands

Rodchenko was a founding member of the constructivist movement, which swept the Soviet Union in the early 20th century.

It centred on the idea of art as a purely functional medium and regarded the artist as something akin to an engineer.

Most of Rodchenko's catalogue is housed in museums. This was one of the most important examples of his work left in private hands.

As Reto Barmettler, head of Russian painting at Sotheby's, explained prior to the sale: "Following the Revolution and upheaval of 1917, Russia enjoyed a few brief years of incredible artistic freedom, not seen before or since, and the resulting upsurge in creativity spilled over into every discipline.

"Rodchenko's Construction No.95 is a masterwork from this time; it holds a special place not only in the artist's oeuvre, but in the entire canon of Russian avant-garde art."

Ilya Chasnik's The Seventh Dimension, Suprematist Relief also set a new artist record, achieving £2.4m ($2.9m) against an estimate of $150,000.

The piece is one of only a handful of Chasnik's works left.

Most were destroyed in a fire in his archives in Vibetsk, Belarus during the second world war.

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