How It's Hanging

ODD COUPLE: Magritte’s Le Stropiat (1948), far left, is filed under “grotesque” with John Currin’s The Moroccan (2004)

What is the best way to organize art? For the 400 years that public art museums have been around, they have mostly arranged their collections academically—by artist, chronology, genre or medium. Lately, however, some museums—especially the ones dedicated to modern art—have been challenging this classical approach. Yet none has done so with the explosive force of "Big Bang: Destruction and Creation in 20th Century Art," on view at Paris' Pompidou Center until February.

The show juxtaposes famous works with obscure ones, pairs young artists with old, mixes its media and otherwise turns the Pompidou collection on its head....

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