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.
Bill Rice at Steven Harvey Fine Art
I love discovering new artists from the past generations of NYC, and so thank-you, Steven Harvey, for this exhibition of paintings and drawings by Bill Rice, a street-smart LES artist from the 1960’s-80’s, who knew everyone, worked with everyone, and made some very tough paintings. With slowly built-up layers of perfectly nuanced and glorious color emanating from the darkness of deep warm and cool blacks, Rice created empathetic tableaux of the down-and out men in his community, the fringe life of gay men, the trucks banging through his streets in the middle of night, the simple hanging-out, watching and being a part of the underworld that was the Lower East Side. But Rice was more than a painter. He performed in plays by Jim Neu, and films by Robert Frank, Jim Jarmusch, Amos Poe, and Jacob Burckhardt, collaborated with Ulla E. Dydo on a book about Gertrude Stein, and hosted performances of all kinds in the vacant lot adjacent to the apartment where he lived. Bill Rice was an artist of a type we rarely see today, making art for the love of creating and the love of his community, not pushing a career or searching for the limelight, being inspired by his world, and in turn inspiring those around him. The exhibition, up through May 13, is well-worth a visit, especially as my photos, automatically normalized and lightened by my camera phone, do not give any sense of the light-filled shadowed darks and subtle color relationships.