The 20th century is rather like the teenager who never grew up — a century that saw itself as perpetually young, as the “modernist” culmination of history rather than part of the historical process. In short, an age guilty of “chronocentricism.” But, like all the other centuries, culled and packaged by the relentless march of time, it, too, is receding into the past, becoming covered with the same rust and dust as the rest.

It is still difficult to say how it will shape up under the historical lens and what its overall image will be for future generations, but some idea can perhaps be gleaned from “Picasso and The 20th Century Art Masterpieces from the Museum of Modern Art” at Tokyo Station Gallery (TSG) — a show that provides a cross section of most of the important artistic trends of that century.

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