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.
Joe Brainard at Tibor de Nagy
My mother loved the work of Joe Brainard, whose quirky, hard-to-categorize art is now hanging at Tibor de Nagy, through Dec. 3. I suspect my mom, Harriet Zinnes, who was an experimental poet, loved his work not only because he also wrote experimental poetry, but because he enjoyed the game of juxtaposition, of connecting high and low art, of telling us something important about ourselves and our society through his seemingly off-the-cuff connections. Brainard’s art is formally rigorous – his collaged images are placed just at the right spots to create a clear visual rhythm – and included in this show even are some traditionally modernist collages, but the strength of his work is its wit, clarity and generously sincere warmth. With 50 pieces in this show, posted here is just a scattering of what’s on view. If you’d like to put a smile on your face, it’s well-worth it to stop by to see the rest.