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.

Lucio Fontana at Hauser & Wirth

The Lucio Fontana exhibition at Hauser & Wirth uptown, up through Feb. 4, is a must-see, museum-quality show. Spanning the artists’ entire artistic career, in seemingly unending gallery rooms sprawling through at least four floors with multiple rooms on each floor, it gives anyone (like myself) who has not yet come to terms with Lucio Fontana a chance to do so. Admittedly, I’d only thought of Fontana as a somewhat conceptual artist who broke open the flat canvas, quite literally, with his “Concetto spaziale” (Spatial Concept) of linen punctuated with holes and “Tagli,” or slashes, series, but he was so much more. He was interested in telluric forces – earth’s natural forces, such as the electrical currents beneath earth’s surface – and he was interested in intersections of space, substance and light, concepts he explored with a strong sense of visual form, volume and rhythm. He was a constant inventor and reinventor, changing the art world forever with his art and manifestoes. He experimented in an unprecedented variety of materials, from traditional terracotta used untraditionally, to plaster, concrete, wrought-iron wire, stoneware, glass, lacquered wood, lacquered metal, and of course canvas. He was flashy and he was quiet, creating Baroque energies with garish color, and classical stabilities with subdued grays. He created realistic figurative work, and completely abstract work. This exhibition gives a taste of Fontana’s broad output from the 1920s–1960s, and though I can’t say he’s become one of my favorite artists, he certainly has gained my deepest respect, and even awe.