Part of a wise and sprawling collection of seven discs examining art through the ages, The Twentieth Century showcases everyone from Pablo Picasso to Andy Warhol in a hands-on kind of way. If you’re afraid of art because it’s so all-encompassing, this overview can serve to demystify it, letting you learn and view the discipline’s varied beauty at your own pace. There’s no fancy video footage here, just a pleasant narrator reading text that’s focused, if not breezy, backed by jazz and avant-garde music. Hundreds of paintings from the worlds of Cubism and Expressionism flash by until you stop the show and muse on the work yourself. If there’s a problem in this presentation, it’s that the artists’ lives aren’t outlined, except in a clunky glossary and an accompanying encyclopedia. B+
Posted November 11 1994 — 12:00 AM EST
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