The title Entropvisions is in homage to my mother, the poet and art critic, Harriet Zinnes. In 1990 New Directions published a collection of her poems titled Entropisms, a word she made-up combining entropy - the tendency toward disorder - and tropism - the growth towards or away from a stimulus. Similarly, my short reviews combine entropy and tropism by suggesting growth towards a vision of art from the chaos of the art world. Through the back door, my title also pays homage to my physicist father, Irving Zinnes, whose long discussions with my mom got her thinking about entropy and tropism in the first place.
Phillip Pearlstein at Betty Cunningham Gallery
After seeing the very skillful but somewhat disturbing paintings of Catherine Murphy at Peter Freeman, Inc. Gallery (see my review from yesterday) I headed to the Phillip Pearlstein show at Betty Cunningham Gallery. I've always felt Pearlstein's nudes to be a bit gnarly, but these large watercolors of his collectibles made in his apartment during the pandemic actually had an eeriness to me. Clearly a painter whose skill allows him to do whatever he wants, Pearlstein has created menageries of almost ghoulish group still-life portraits. These antiques, with their staring eyes and Cheshire Cat smiles grimacing, slyly scheme of secret plans of escape, either metaphorically or physically. In a video of Pearlstein taking us through his process we see the actual setups, and so see how innocuous objects are transformed by the painter's hand into creatures resigned but uncomfortable by their present space.