Credit Thaw Collection/The Morgan Library & Museum
Our guide to new art shows — and some that will be closing soon.
‘DRAWN TO GREATNESS: MASTER DRAWINGS FROM THE THAW COLLECTION,’ at the Morgan Library & Museum (through Jan. 7). This major group drawing show constitutes a grand summing-up of a career, of an art form and of an institution’s holdings. During the past 60 years, the New York art dealer Eugene V. Thaw and his wife, Clare Eddy Thaw, amassed a phenomenal drawing collection notable for its chronological breadth, running from the early Renaissance to the near present. This year they gave more than 400 items outright to the Morgan, expanding and deepening its range. The 150 works on view include a super-rare Andrea Mantegna, an unearthly Samuel Palmer and a soulful Vincent Van Gogh. (Holland Cotter)
‘LAUREN GREENFIELD: GENERATION WEALTH’ at the International Center of Photography (through Jan. 7). “They that will be rich fall into a temptation and a snare,” warns the Book of Timothy. For 25 years, this Beverly Hills-born photographer has been shooting brand-obsessed, money-addled Americans — rich and poor alike — whose moral rot is expressed through hot-pink Birkin bags, Versace-upholstered furniture and McMansions the size of a small principality. The result is a tasteless show for a tasteless time. Some of Ms. Greenfield’s photographs have a moral passion that exceeds distaste. But most of these shots are dismissive and shallow, and imply that vulgarity is a greater crime than economic unfairness. (Jason Farago)
‘THE VIETNAM WAR: 1945-1975’ at the New-York Historical Society (through April 22). In contrast to the stately PBS series “The Vietnam War,” this jammed exhibition delivers historical data, and a lot of it, quick-and-dirty, through labels, film clips, audio bytes and objects, some of which fall under a broad definition of art. Along with paintings by contemporary Vietnamese artists, there’s graffiti-style drawing on combat helmets and Zippo lighters, and period design in the form of album covers and protest posters. Words and images work together in illustrated murals labeled “Home Front” and “War Front” that put you right in the middle of the war’s primary issues and events. (Cotter)
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 citywide public art 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 a refugee himself — he fled to Berlin in 2015 — and by this point there is no untangling his art and his activism. (Farago)
Installation sites are at publicartfund.org
‘DEADEYE DICK: RICHARD BELLAMY AND HIS CIRCLE,’ at Peter Freeman Gallery (through Oct. 28). A wistfully romantic portrait of the postwar dealer Richard Bellamy, a passionate advocate for contemporary art, “Deadeye Dick” emphasizes the early-1960s heyday of the Green Gallery he founded on West 57th Street while inviting judgments about the realities of the art trade today. Alongside early works by Donald Judd, Claes Oldenburg and other familiar names who began at the Green are pieces by Jean Follett and Sidney Tillim, as well as portraits of Bellamy by Alex Katz and others that attest to his charisma. (Karen Rosenberg)