Our guide to new art shows — and some that will be closing soon.
AI WEIWEI: ‘GOOD FENCES MAKE GOOD NEIGHBORS’ at Washington Square Park, Doris C. Freedman Plaza and throughout New York City (through Feb. 11, 2018). A public disruption by China’s most important contemporary artist comprises large steel cages uptown and downtown, chain-link fences behind bus stops from Harlem to the Bronx, protective netting around Corona Park’s Unisphere, and hundreds of portraits of refugees on lampposts. Mr. Ai is also a refugee — he fled to Berlin in 2015 — and by now there is no untangling his art and his activism. (Jason Farago)
Installation sites are at publicartfund.org
‘ALBERTO SAVINIO’ at the Center for Italian Modern Art (through June 23, 2018). The paintings of this Italian polymath have long been overshadowed by the brilliant work of his older brother, Giorgio de Chirico. This show of 22 canvases from the late 1920s and early ’30s may not change that, but the mix of landscapes with bright patterns and several eerie portraits based on family photographs are surprisingly of the moment. (Roberta Smith)
‘EDVARD MUNCH: BETWEEN THE CLOCK AND THE BED’ at the Met Breuer (through Feb. 4). If you only know the anguished Norwegian painter for “The Scream,” a real outlier in Munch’s career, this calibrated exhibition will offer you a fine introduction to the art of a melancholy master who brooded much more than he shrieked. The show orbits around a gallery of self-portraits, ranging from a smoky youthful vision, done in 1886 and abraded with a palate knife, to a fatalistic painting of 1940–43, in which the old, gaunt Munch pictures himself trapped between a grandfather clock and the bed he will die in. His estranged gaze on aging, illness and lost love has a urgency that feels relevant in a fatalistic age. (Farago)
‘LOUISE BOURGEOIS: AN UNFOLDING PORTRAIT’ at the Museum of Modern Art (through Jan. 28, 2018). The artist’s frequently handworked prints provide the through line in this compact yet vivid survey. Organized thematically, it moves over six decades in light, circling rhythms, revisiting primordial themes of family and betrayal while incorporating occasional paintings and several sculptures. Ms. Bourgeois’s final efforts resemble an environmental painting, tinged with love and blood. (Roberta Smith)