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.
Leonor Fini at Kasmin
The Leonor Fini exhibition at Kasmin Gallery gives a brief but wide-ranging sense of this artist’s fantastical imagination and fluid engagement with diverse artistic disciplines. Fini (1907-1996), an Argentine-Italian, was one of our most important mid-20th century artists, but we rarely see her work, and so this show is quite a treat. Themes from Shakespeare, Greek mythology, Egyptian and medieval history, and opera are represented through seven decades of painting, drawing, sculpture, fashion design and exotic masks, and through it all, we sense her overflowing energy, uninhibited imagery, flamboyance and courage. Though largely self-taught – she learned anatomy from studying cadavers in morgues – her drawings and paintings show precise, sensitive and even delicate draftsmanship and classical compositional strategies. Her dark, stage-lit paintings explore female power and the relationship between the sexes through multi-figure tableaux referencing drama, mythology and dream. Known for her connection to the Surrealists, Leonor Fini’s oeuvre actually does not fit easily into categories, as it is more about her personal passions and metaphoric symbols – many taken from mythology – than the bizarre, subconscious or irrational. Spanning just two rooms, this show only wets the appetite, and as a consequence asks for a large museum retrospective, but until then, Kasmin’s intriguing exhibition can be seen through Feb. 25.