Important Alexander Rodchenko painting to set new record?

One of the most important paintings by Alexander Rodchenko left in private hands is to auction at Sotheby's.

Titled Construction No. 95 (1919), the work is expected to make around £2.5m-3.5m ($3.1m-4.3m) in the Russian Pictures sale in London on November 29.

Rodchenko painting Sothebys
Rodchenko was a founder of the constructivist movement

That would set a new world record for his work at auction, far above the $646,000 paid for a 1917 canvas last year.

Rodchenko was a founder of the constructivist movement, which pushed the idea that art should be driven by function.  

The artist should be an engineer or a mechanic who constructs their work, rather than an individual led by their own emotions.

During the early 20th century Russia was producing some of the most forward thinking art on the planet.

Reto Barmettler,head of Russian painting at Sotheby's, explains: "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."

The sale will include a wealth of pieces from this time period, including Vladimir Avgustovich Stenberg's Abstract Composition.

Stenberg was a member of OBMOKhU, the Society for Young Artists, many of whom studied under Rodchenko and the earlier wave of constructivists.

The present lot is a fine example of Stenberg's blending of abstract and figurative modes.

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