Highlight Hollywood is daily revealing the 50 categories of winning artists in the 2014 American Art Awards. Emerging and mid-career artists around the globe entered online art which was scored by 25 of the best American galleries.
Abstract Art is one of the most entered categories and had submissions from dozens of countries. Pieces receiving the exact same point totals from galleries are designated as ties.
Below are bios on the three 1ST PLACE winners, Jenik Cook, Aivars Kisnics and Hilary Winfield.
JENIK COOK: Not necessarily Abstract. 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. 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.
AIVARS KISNIC was born 16th of November, 1955 in Madona, Latvia. Since 1956 he has been living in Liepaja. His oil on canvas paintings are multilayered abstractions featuring abrupt changes in texture, fragmentation and traces of the expressive subliminal impulse. Formerly a ship navigator, Kisnics’s special relationship to the sea – where he spent most of his adult professional life – is a focal point of his creative work.
HILARY WINFIELD has been an award-winning artist since fourth grade. She fondly remembers her childhood in North Carolina and painting by candlelight when the house was without power due to an Autumn hurricane. She is still inspired by the dynamic elements of nature; a thunderstorm rolling over the ocean at sunset, peeling paint on a dilapidated building, and night city lights reflecting on a quiet lake. During college, she concentrated on landscapes, specifically nature scenes of the beach, the mountains and waterfalls. After college, she traveled west across the United States, visiting many of its national parks and the scenic Badlands in South Dakota, the pristine hot springs in Teton National Park, and Wyoming waterfalls. Enraptured by the Pacific Northwest, she relocated to Portland, Oregon in 2001. She finds herself continually pulled to nature, often riding a bike beside the Willamette River or hiking throughout the Columbia Gorge and Mount Hood. Winfield has been selling abstract work since 2007, continuing to win awards and receiving accolades from collectors and critics. Her images have also been selected as the design for the cover of a book, and her art is included in the permanent collection in a fine art museum.
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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: AAA
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