ART: PRIVATE VIEW

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The Independent Culture
Not surprisingly, the current exhibitions of Kandinsky at the Royal Academy and assorted giants of 20th-century Russian art at the Barbican have prompted some of London's more astute, and well-connected, commercial galleries to mount shows on related themes. Most notably the Albers print retrospective (he was a colleague of Kandinsky's at the Bahaus), which has just closed at the Alan Cristea Gallery.

Not to be outdone, the Annely Juda Gallery, the London venue most usually associated with the Russian avant-garde, has just opened an exhibition devoted to the work of the constructivist sculptor Naum Gabo. Gabo was born in Russia in 1890, but is often appropriated by English art historians on account of the years he spent with Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth forging a modern movement in this country in the late 1930s and early 1040s. In truth, he was only here for 10 years, compared to nearly 30 in America, and our claim on him is a tenuous one. This show puts him back where he belongs: the author of the first constructivist manifesto and a close contact of both the de Stijl group and the Bahaus. A truly international figure at the forefront of the European avant-garde.

Naum Gabo, Annely Juda Fine Art, 23 Dering Street, London W1 (0171-629 7578) to 26 June

Richard Ingleby

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