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.

Mark Rosenthal Studio Visit
Mark Rosenthal is a force of nature, in his energy, invention and passion for art, and so it was with great pleasure that I was able to visit his studio, see his tremendous output, and talk with him about his process. For years Mark had been making abstract paintings with complex movements of contrasting color and texture, but more recently has focused on large paintings with figurative references, and by extension, suggestions of narrative. These new paintings, however, actually aren’t a new interest for him at all, but rather a continuation of interests that have run through his art since art school days, when he made wonderful paintings of fantastical characters in fantastical situations. Mark says that even his “abstract” paintings are figurative, as people in emotionally-driven situations are hidden within the abstract forms. His working process has remained similar throughout his career, as well. Beginning with what might read as one of his abstract paintings, Mark lets his imagination wander, finding the story from within the colored shapes, letting one possibility lead to another, trusting the fluidity of his mark-making and the spontaneity of his ingenuity, until shapes begin to coalesce into meaning, and meaning begins to create more shapes. But content is never literal, never absolute, always open to new interpretation. In fact, Mark seems to enjoy pitting opposites against each other: the sharp painterly construction of color and form with the unpredictable game of things represented, of dark against light, and good against evil. We might sense political overtones, comments on human nature, references to novels or parables, or perhaps just a whimsical anecdote. For years Mark taught art to young children, and from his spontaneous openness to the flow of his unusual image-making, clearly he and his students shared simpatico connections toward a freedom of expression and excitement with discovery. discovery. We are all fortunate that one of his smaller paintings currently is on view at Equity Gallery, through March 23, in a show including many other wonderful artists as well, and curated by Alexandra Rutsch Brock, Patricia Fabricant, and Christina Massey.