Jenness Cortez Invites a Visual Conversation Through Her New American Realism

Share Article

DeBruyne Fine Art of Naples, Florida will host an exhibition by internationally acclaimed artist Jenness Cortez. On view January 26 through March 31, 2012, “Homage to the Creative Spirit 2012,” invites viewers into a visual conversation with Cortez to discuss how iconic works of art can inspire us to rediscover and revalue our own own creative potential.

Artist Jenness Cortez

It’s as if the creative spirit insinuates itself into the work, wanting to serve its own best interest with solutions that far exceed the artist’s original, limited vision. –– Jenness Cortez

DeBruyne Fine Art of Naples, Florida will host an exhibition by internationally acclaimed artist Jenness Cortez. On view January 26 through March 31, 2012, “Homage to the Creative Spirit 2012,” invites viewers into a visual conversation with Cortez to discuss how iconic works of art can inspire us to rediscover and revalue our own own creative potential.

Robert Yassin, Executive Director of the Palos Verdes Art Center calls Jenness Cortez one of the world’s most eloquent and successful visual conversationalists. Yassin says that, “All art is a dialogue, a conversation through the medium of the artwork between the artist and the viewer. It is the level of that dialogue that establishes the intrinsic value of a given work. Among the many characteristics of a real work of art, two are most significant and define both the quality and significance of the dialogue. The first is that what the artist is saying must be meaningful; the second, that it is clearly communicated and understood. In Cortez’ paintings, both criteria are more than fully met. The work talks to us at many levels and creates in us a sense of both understanding and well being. This happens because there is nothing arbitrary in Cortez’ paintings. The choice of the painting reproduced, the elements surrounding it, the space the elements occupy, the lighting, the color, everything is carefully selected and orchestrated following a fully articulated plan determined by the artist . . . The paintings of Jenness Cortez make my heart sing.”

For centuries artists have been challenging their intellects and skills by paying homage to the painters who preceded them. Jenness Cortez has emerged as the twenty-first century’s most notable exponent of this facet of art history. Her masterful work gives Cortez solid footing in the colorful lineage of artists who have appropriated vintage images and woven them into their own distinctive, recognizable fabric.

In this show Cortez reexamines the classic paradox of realism: the painting both as a “window” into an imagined space and as a physical object. Her work challenges the viewers’ intellectual curiosity and celebrates the sheer pleasure of beautiful painting. In her series of Homage paintings, Cortez plays author, architect, visual journalist, art historian, curator and pundit to help open our eyes to what we might otherwise have overlooked or taken for granted. Each painting presents a specific theme, mixing straightforward cues and obscure allusions, complemented by references to other artists’ lives and times. In part, this year’s body of work pays homage to Albert Bierstadt, Rosa Bonheur, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Edgar Degas, William Harnett, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Vincent Van Gogh. By masterfully presenting iconic works of art in unexpected modern settings, Jenness Cortez inspires us to see differently––to rediscover and revalue our own creative power in everyday life.

According to Jenness Cortez, “Every painting begins with a vision seen in the artist’s mind. Sometimes the finished piece appears in the mind full-blown, and at other times it is amorphous––yet with some beguiling character that begs to be developed. In either case, between that first inspiration and the finished painting lie hours of research, thousands of choices and, of course, the great joy of painting. The process is organic. Even with a well conceived composition in place, the painting has a life of its own and the best ones surprise even the artist with twists and turns that outshine the most clever of plans. It’s as if the creative spirit insinuates itself into the work, wanting to serve its own best interest with solutions that far exceed the artist’s original, limited vision.”

Biographical Notes:
Jenness Cortez was born in 1944 in Frankfort, Indiana. She received her B.F.A. from the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, apprenticed privately with noted Dutch painter Antonius Raemaekers and later studied with Arnold Blanche at the Art Students League of New York. Her work is in numerous public and private collections including those of Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, HRH Queen Elizabeth, II and the New York State Museum.

Classic Gallery in Averill Park, New York exclusively represents Jenness Cortez.

###

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Elaine Peterson
Visit website