Sotheby's sale of 'Music, Continental and Russian Books and Manuscripts' takes place next week, and the standout lot of their Russian section is a set of posters by influential artist Alexandr Rodchenko.
The set of 25 propaganda posters tells the history of the Communist Party in Russia, using Rodchenko's cutting-edge graphics, photography and illustration to glorify the regime.
His designs feature documents, war photographs, maps and newspaper articles celebrating the industrial growth created by Communist policies, and a detailed account of the party's origins.
The posters were printed in 1926, predominantly in runs of 5000, and the rarity of a complete set in almost perfect condition is reflected in the estimated price of £50,000 - £70,000.
Rodchenko was one of the founders of the Russian constructivism movement and his bold, modernist aesthetic matched the objectives of the Communist regime perfectly.
He sought to start a revolution in the art world, declaring "the end of painting" in 1921 by exhibiting three monochrome canvases of red, blue and yellow, arguably some of the first of their kind. He hoped this would clear the way for a new way of life in Russia, using new modes of production to rebuild the cultural landscape.
His work has had an enormous influence on modern graphic design, and the posters will appeal to both art lovers and historians.
They not only represent an important stage in one of the most significant artistic movements of the 20th century, but they also offer an insight into the way the Communist party used art and design as powerful propaganda tools.
The sale takes place in London on December 1 and for anyone with an interest in both history and modern art (particularly in the currently booming Russian art market) they could prove to be an excellent addition to any collection, as well as a sound investment for the future.
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