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.
Jan Muller at Bookstein Projects
Jan Muller’s paintings have always perplexed me, and so I was quite pleased to spend time with a large group at Bookstein Projects. On first entry to the gallery, I had my usual reaction: These are flat paintings. But as I looked more, and followed the color relationships, the space opened up to internal movements, both on the surface and in illusionistic depth. In addition to being a colorist, Muller was a symbolist of sorts, with, for instance, the upended paths of the late “Path Paintings” here at Bookstein. These paths circle the painting’s surface, separate though still somehow connected to the landscape pictorial space, suggesting a life journey going somewhere and nowhere simultaneously. The earlier landscapes at Bookstein, made in Provence, look a bit like Cezanne’s Provence, but only because both painters responded to similar motifs. The frontality of buildings, aqueduct and figures in Muller’s work create an almost childlike naive sensation of place, rather than the slow studied perceptual representation of Cezanne. The Muller show remains up through Dec. 16.