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.

Holbein at The Morgan Library
2022.4.30

If you haven't yet seen the Holbein exhibition at The Morgan Library, I highly recommend finding a lot of time to linger in front of each masterpiece before the show closes on May 15. In addition to the many Holbein's, The Morgan has given us a Quentin Metsys portrait and Durer print, each of which help clarify the striking quiet of a Holbein painting. In Holbein, sitters seem to stare off to nowhere, not as an internal contemplation but more as a frozen-in-time, a timelessness and sense of eternity and the infinite. In contrast, the wonderful Metsys portrait is of an animated, gesticulating sitter about to tell us something important and perhaps dramatic, and in real time. The Durer print has a quiet too, but also a sharp, pinpoint sense of accuracy that has its own energy, compared to Holbein's softer spirit and humanity. Surprising to me were the many drawings Holbein made for a collaboration with Hans Luxelburger, a tremendous Swiss wood blockcutter who had been commissioned to print a book based on the traditional theme of The Dance of Death. Unlike his paintings, Holbein's drawings depict movement, a physical environment, and the very real quirks of individual characteristics. Even Holbein's portrait drawings, most likely made as preparation for paintings, contain a fleshy sense of life and movement. Adding to the wonders of seeing Holbein, I was lucky to visit with Garry Nichols, who generously shared his tremendous insights with me. Thanks Garry!

Holbein

Holbein drawings

Holbein

Holbein

Holbein

Holbein. These are tiny paintings, just a few inches wide

Holbein. This is a very small painting

Holbein drawings

Holbein drawings

Hans Luxelburger prints from Holbein drawings

Hans Luxelburger prints from Holbein drawings

Holbein

Holbein

Quentin Metsys

Durer