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.

William Bailey at Betty Cuningham
2022.11.29

The William (aka Bill) Bailey show at Betty Cuningham Gallery, up through Dec. 23, is located next door to the Joe Brainard at Tibor de Nagy (reviewed in recent post), but couldn’t be more different. While Brainard is about surprise and the moving energy of life, Bailey’s art is of frozen moments in time, or perhaps the eternity of time frozen in metaphors of contemplation. What is especially exciting about this exhibition is its inclusion of many preparatory drawings, as well as the two unfinished paintings still sitting on Bill’s easels in his studio at his death. To discover the process behind paintings of such perfection, paintings that feel as if they always existed just as they are, is an intriguing experience of discovery. Most drawings were done on graph paper, allowing the artist to line edges up horizontally and vertically, or measure proportions by simple comparative units of one or two, techniques clearly important to the structural tightness of his  work. In the unfinished portrait, worked on for years, a curl of hair beautifully painted had been removed to create a more perfect forehead, and parts of the once-finished arm had been painted over and not yet repainted to be reunited with the rest. Bill’s art slows time, and giving yourself the time to explore them will yield discoveries of drawing and color that in their quiet way gives their own surprises.

unfinished at Bailey's death

unfinished at Bailey's death