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.

JJ Manford at Derek Eller
Follow any color as it travels through a JJ Manford now hanging at Derek Eller Gallery through Feb. 3, and you will go on a joyful journey of transformation, transmigration and cadenced metamorphosis. The same pink morphs its meaning and context as it moves from the body of a plastic flamingo to flowers in a garden, a highlight on a whicker-chair and sunlit tile reflections – and then that pink continues, as it becomes an orange in the bricks, plant leaves, and both orange and pink in the sky. JJ is a color magician, a master organizer, an orchestral composer whose color marks create chords of variation, from major to minor keys, as they migrate, integrate and structure the painting’s rhythms. But these colors are more than pillars of construction. They depict objects in spaces, often rooms, sometimes landscapes and backyards, that emanate a sense of nostalgia, not only for the artist’s real or imagined childhood, but also for our own collective memories and fantasies, as storybook characters become real, and interiors are pitched to Toys-R-Us chromatic colors. Kellog’s Tony the Tiger sits as an animated sculpture atop a breakfast table in an exuberantly decorated child’s dream kitchen, the bedroom in “Goodnight Moon” becomes physical, and even Picasso’s “Girl before a Mirror, voted by the AbEx painters decades ago as their favorite or most influential painting, makes an appearance as it joins a kachina doll and Shadow, a character from the video game, ”Sonic the Hedgehog.” Years ago, JJ and I briefly taught the same class, Light Color and Design, at Pratt Institute, and as I looked at his current paintings, I again felt how lucky his students had been to have had such an expert colorist, composer, and inventor.