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.

Byrdcliff & Pamela Salisbury Group Shows
Unbelievably, I’m still making my way through Upstate NY Art Weekend exhibitions - and some shows still hanging. There were (and are) just so many wonderful shows to see in the Hudson Valley! Byrdcliff hosted a three-person exhibition of Brenda Goodman, Julie Heffernan and Elisa Jensen, unfortunately now closed, but the Pamela Salisbury shows reviewed here are still up. At Byrdcliff, each artist was represented by so many paintings that in a way the exhibition was three strong solo shows. In addition to simply being good painting, Brenda’s selection was fascinating because it covered her early years, from 1994-2011. With mainly self-portraits, her painterly search – perhaps even struggle – to give visual voice to her most inner insecurities and anxieties was visceral, powerful, and honest. Also self-portraits of sorts were Julie Heffernan’s large, technically impressive, quasi-mythological paintings in which she represents herself as the main actor. In what at first looks like traditional late 19th century allegorical painting, on closer observation become social/political/environmental commentaries of entangled surrealistic imagery. With a presence at two exhibitions, Elisa Jensen has had quite a showing upstate this summer. At both Byrdcliff and Pamela Salisbury, Elisa’s intimate, quiet painterly poems of the everyday of home, the nostalgia of memory, and the joy of emotive observation glow with deep color and expressive light that generously bring us into her worlds of reverie and personal connection. Also at Pamela Salibury – where all shows are up through August 27 – is work by Elisa D’Arrigo, Carl D’Avia, Steve Bartlett, Maud Bryt and Rachel Schmidhofer. Elisa D’Arrigo’s ceramic sculptures, remarkedly glazed with complex textures, are abstract improvisations of the human figure, discovered through the intuitive process of attaching, folding, and squeezing clay vessels until a personality, caught in mid-action, emerges in poses of humor, loving empathy, and surprise. Steve Barlett’s wood sculptures, with their incredibly smooth surfaces have an organic elegance, and Maud Bryt’s watercolors display a delicate sensitivity to color and light.