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.

Farrell Brickhouse at JJ Murphy
Memory, gobs of oil paint, history, time, empathy. Always empathy. Gentle empathy. The paintings of Farrell Brickhouse, on view at JJ Murphy through May 18, ask for long viewing, for seeing into the depths of the mountains of paint, some of it complex grays often mixed from yesterday’s left-over paint, others the more chromatic accents that grow from the process of painting, making definable the undefinable image lurking beneath and above the surfaces. Working on some paintings for years, Farrell brings out and pulls in images, as the paint transforms its physicality into a living reflection of his years fishing on the eastern shores of Long Island, the beloved people in his life, simple walks in his backyard, and his responses to the existential traumas of our lives today. Time slows down with these paintings, or rather simultaneously exists in the past and present, bringing the viewer deeper and deeper into the paint, until perhaps the viewer actually merges with it, becoming one with the fragility displayed. Figures often are suspended, but also cut-off by the canvas edge, as if the world itself has cut them off, isolated them within themselves and their narratives. These paintings are not “about” anything, but simply are. Though they come out of personal experiences, they are not about those events, but rather are the experiences themselves, breathing within the paint, existing, exuding their humanity, embodiments of a life lived, of losses and fears, offerings of and to a vulnerable existence in our troubled world, becoming, as Farrell has said, “a revelatory experience, a conduit to the beauty and mystery in the miracle of simply being here.”