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Critic’s picks: Visual art

IMPRESSIONISTS ON THE WATER  Sixty paintings, works on paper, models, and small craft explore the affinity of French Impressionists such as Monet, Sisley, Caillebotte (“Boating on the Yerres,” left), and Renoir for boating and the water. Organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Through Feb. 17. Peabody Essex Museum, Salem. 978-745-9500, www.pem.org

AMY SILLMAN: ONE LUMP OR TWO  The brilliant and restlessly inventive artist’s first museum solo show. Paintings, works on paper, and more. Through Jan. 5. Institute of Contemporary Art. 617-478-3100, www.icaboston.com

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EIJA-LIISA AHTILA: OLENTOJA
(CREATURES)
 Psychologically probing and lushly produced video installations by the renowned Finnish artist. Through Jan. 5. Davis Museum of Art, Wellesley College, Wellesley. 781-283-2051, www.wellesley.edu/davismuseum

MAKING IT IN AMERICA  More than 100 objects selected from the museum’s collection — paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts — demonstrate aspects of the forging of national identity in the United States. Through Feb. 9. RISD Museum, Providence. 401-454-6400, www.risdmuseum.org

Sebastian Smee can be reached at ssmee@globe.com.
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