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.
went to the Morgan Library hoping my opinion of the art of Georges
Baselitz would change. Alas, the drawing show on view through Feb. 5,
covering the artist’s entire career, only reinforced my impressions from
decades ago, that he has little to say, and that his seemingly enticing
gimmick of the upside-down figure is a meager attempt to camouflage his
emptiness. One could argue drawings are sketches, but even as sketches
those on view are thin, missing any real conviction and missing
imagination. The few photos I took represent the best images I could
find. Fortunately for me, however, also at the museum is a spectacular
display of Mesopotamian art from 3400- 2000 B.C., up through Feb. 19.
What a contrast! Here are authentic pieces after authentic pieces,
figures with a generosity still giving through all these centuries. The
exhibition centers on Enheduanna, the first non-anonymous writer in
history, and a woman. She was a poet, priestess and princess, writing
about how the peoples of her father’s huge empire – the first empire
ever -- might be united culturally, and about her personal travails of
sexual abuse and feelings of inadequacy. On display are some of her
tablets, as well as figurines, reliefs and exquisite Babylonian cylinder
seals that were rolled out as stamps to produce writing. Through the
sculpture, the exhibition tells the story of women 5000 years ago, how
important they were in religious, family, social and political roles,
but for me most importantly, the exhibition breathes a humanity that
transcends all time.