Art: Private View - Vasily Kandinsky Royal Academy, London W1

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The Independent Culture
One of the side effects of Pollock at the Tate and the Rothko show which runs to the end of this week at the Musee d'Art Moderne in Paris is a sense of just how far the great American artists of the 1940s and 1950s were the product of what had gone before in Europe. Picasso and Miro in particular look like the giants of the mid-20th century, with Matisse not far behind.

Miro's position in the pantheon of 20th-century greats has slipped since then, but a convincing case could still be made for his place alongside Picasso and Matisse as one of the three most influential artists of the century. The fourth? Pollock or Rothko perhaps? Or one of the Russians from an earlier avant-garde?

Our experience in this country of the latter has been slight, at least in recent years, but this spring brings two chances to take stock. The first major showing here of Vasily Kandinsky, one of the fathers of abstract painting, opens this week at the Royal Academy, followed by the Barbican's broader survey: "New Art for a New Era", drawn from the collection of the State Russian Museum and now shown for the first time in the West. It's an exciting prospect.

Vasily Kandinsky, Royal Academy, Piccadilly, London W1 (0171-300 8000) Wed to 4 Jul