Jenik Cook, Jim Lively, Hilary Winfield, Aivar Kisnics And Gregg Rogers Triumph In Abstract, Thom Bierdz, President Of American Art Awards, Reports To Highlight Hollywood

Highlight Hollywood reveals the winners of the 2013 American Art Awards  ABSTRACT CATEGORY. American Art Awards president Thom Bierdz, recognized  globally for playing Phillip Chancellor III on The Young & The Restless  since 1986 and also as a painter in many genres, reported to us today the  favorite abstract artisans amongst 25 voting galleries. This is the fourth year  in a row that Jenik Cook’s art came in First Place in thsi category. Because the  American art Awards has different galleries voting every year, this says the  appeal of Cook’s art is undeniably universal. See her bio below.
1ST PLACE JENIK COOK “The Infinite Shore”
2ND PLACE JIM LIVELY  “Layers Of Civilization”
Bio of JENIK COOK: ERUPTING, by Peter Frank:
No question but the painting of Jenik Cook – and hardly less the work she  realizes in other media (most notably ceramics) -is abstract-expressionist. But  it is not necessarily Abstract Expressionist. That is, however much it may  evince the DNA of mid-century American “action painting,” or even European  counterparts such as tachism, l’art informel, or CoBrA, Cook’s art only  incidentally revives the method, much less the look, of these bumptious, scrappy  art movements. Rather, to power her vision, she goes back to the roots of  gestural modernism, finding dancing line, elastic contour, and fervid color in  surrealism, in fauvism, in expressionism itself.
The painting of Pollock and  Kline, and of Fautrier and Jorn, gives Cook permission to work unfettered like  this, and gives us the context to comprehend fully – even to empathize  kinesthetically with – what she does. But she is not emulating, much less  imitating, Afro or James Brooks in her graceful, muscular paintings on paper or  rehashing Sam Francis or André Lanskoy with the rhythmic clots and scatterings  of pigment that collect on her canvases (well, on a wide variety of more-or-less  canvas-like support material). Look instead to Miro, Masson, Marc, or Münter,  Pechstein or Picasso, Marcks or Matisse, for Cook’s sources.
Indeed, look into Cook’s own cultural heritage. The line that whips and  loops throughout Cook’s oeuvre, whether hurling forms across canvas expanses or  tracing them on the sides of pots, whether describing slashing trails of pure  pigment or the sinuous contours of human bodies, is no more a painted line than  it is a written one. It is made less with the whole body – although one can  sense a change of stance, a hip motion, in so many of these dancing whiplashes –  than with the whole arm. These gestures issue from the wrist and the shoulder.  They are in fact as much inscribed as painted. Their energy is not just  telegraphic; it is calligraphic. If the vivacity of the image bespeaks Cook’s  Armenian blood, the rhapsodic curvaceousness of her line betrays her Iranian  childhood. As comfortable speaking and writing Farsi as she is Armenian, Cook  marries her disparate cultural sources -which of course now include the western  European and American influences of her adult life – into an aesthetically  cohesive mix with a surprisingly broad formal reach.
Perhaps the breadth of that reach, given the variety of sources, isn’t  actually so surprising. But it is always a bit startling to witness – that is,  to be allowed to witness – an artist master such a conceptual and expressive  range. Most artists have this range in them, but so many suppress it. For her  part, however, Cook refuses to suppress her stylistic multivalency. Not only  does she not limit her vision, but she uses that vision very consciously to  drive her artmaking in as many ways as it needs to go. She may edit, but she  does not self-censure. Her style, ultimately as coherent and personal as a  signature, emerges from and among her plethora of approaches, approaches which  themselves spring from her persistence, her prolific output, her knowledge of  art, and her irrepressible verve. Jenik Cook’s art springs forth -in several  directions at once.  – by Peter Frank
HH_gallery_list_aaa_2013 (2)
Highlight Hollywood will next reveal the winners in the ABSTRACT  EXPRESSIONISM category. See for more  information.
Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: American Art Awards
Follow us on Twitter @HighlightHwd or @LightfootinHwd