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.

Tetsuya Ishida at Gagosian
One of the most disturbing exhibitions I have ever seen is the current show of paintings by Tetsuya Ishida at Gagosian, up through Oct. 21. Ishida (1973–2005) was part of Japan’s 1990’s “Lost Generation,” a generation of youth alienated from Japan’s quickly expanding tech economy and mechanistic culture, a zeitgeist made even worse by the country’s terrible recession, and his art reflects this extreme alienation. With a blend of surrealism, horror, skillful draftsmanship, strong compositions, overlaps, layered duplication and fertile imagination, Ishida’s paintings turn the everyday into detached nightmares of psychological hell. Figures – most likely self-portraits – merge into animals, machines, furniture, mothers and lovers, dismembered body parts take center stage, while the surroundings suffocate with a heavy weight of social and personal angst. Walking through the four large gallery rooms of paintings, as the gruesome imagery only becomes more desperate with each new room, is an experience that makes palpable the inner torture this artist experienced. Some say his tragic death at age 32 was a suicide – though this possibility is in dispute – surely the imagery in these paintings suggests where this hypothesis comes from.