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.

Thaddeus Radell at Bowery
The paintings of Thaddeus Radell are tough paintings, demanding us to dig deep into their ambiguous worlds of figures created almost out of the primal stuff of the earth’s creation itself. Made with oil, cold wax, dried pigments, and pieces of burlap, the surfaces are crusty, bulging with knots of paint that both clarify and obscure. These are intuitive paintings, where the extreme impasto grabs our attention immediately, and where the process of finding form out of paint initially seems an end in itself – but these paintings are so much more. With humanistic and penetrating literary giants like T.S. Eliot, Dante, Thomas Hardy, Shakespeare, and Greek mythology floating in his mind’s eye as he paints, Radell conjures the ghosts of these great works, and creates vulnerable figures with an inner strength, a determination gained through their having performed their feats for centuries on end, but, at least in these paintings, without achieving their goals, locked forever in this moment of painterly capture. His figures are busy at their activities, but function behind a film of corpuscular textures that makes them unreachable, as if they are from other worlds, perhaps of the artist’s inner state, their literary sources, or even the hidden worlds within all of us, where our collective pasts lie just beyond reach, where society’s memories and culture remain allusive through their own historical distances. The larger paintings are narratives, with multiple figures and hints of boats and other accessories, but at the gallery’s entrance is a row of “portraits” of internal states,” perhaps studies for the larger work, but deeply moving in and of themselves. The exhibition remains up at Bowery Gallery through Feb. 24, and on Saturday, Feb. 24, at 3pm, there will be a cello performance with Robert Reed, and the artist in conversation with Mark LaRiviere, followed by a closing reception.