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Jenik Cook

No question, Jenik Cook’s paintings and ceramics are abstract-expressionist. But it is not necessarily Abstract Expressionist. Meaning, however much her work may evince the DNA of mid-century American "action painting," or European counterparts such as tachism, l'art informel, or CoBrA, Cook's art only incidentally revives the method. Instead bumptious, scrappy art movements, Cook work is rooted in gestural modernism in which her art's elastic contours, and fervid colors in surrealism, in fauvism, is 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 Andre Lanskoy with the rhythmic clots and scatterings of pigment that collect on her canvases. Look instead to Miro, Masson, Marc, or Munter, Pechstein or Picasso, Marcks or Matisse, for Cook's sources.

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.