Show Business: Journey Through an Unknown Land

The Shock of the New, PBS, beginning Jan. 11,8 p.m., E.S.T.

Even today, many decades after they were unveiled before an uncomprehending world, the early works of the modernists retain the power to startle. Picasso's cubist women stare out from the canvas with the faces of monsters in Les Demoiselles d'Avignon; Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye belongs more to tomorrow than today, as it has for the past half-century. Jackson Pollock is still a puzzle to many people, who appreciate only the fancy prices his paintings now fetch. That lack of understanding is what makes...

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