"My intention is very simple: I want to share the joy of seeing; to remind the viewer how beautiful, how surprising and how interesting this world truly is . . . if we just take the time to look."
From her rural Averill Park, New York studio, in the gentle foothills of the Berkshires, painter and printmaker Jenness Cortez dedicates her creative energy to capturing the essence of the world around her. She is a realist in approach, but all her images have always been filtered through the heart. Her paintings are uplifting, reassuring and enduring. "Like a good friend," Cortez says, "art faithfully offers quiet cheer and encouragement. As an instrument of the creative spirit, art provides a doorway to the soul."
Born in Frankfort, Indiana, Jenness Cortez began her formal art studies at the age of sixteen under the guidance of noted Dutch painter, Antonius Raemaekers. Cortez has a solid fine arts background, having graduated from the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis and studied at the Art Students League of New York.
From 1977 through 1997, Jenness Cortez received international acclaim for her sporting paintings and her masterful depiction of the horse. Capturing the subtle complexities of the sporting scene takes more than the ability to render the painstaking likeness of a horse. It requires perceptive observation and a mastery of composition. Like George Stubbs and Frederic Remington, she is first and foremost, an excellent draftsman.
In her twenty-one years depicting the horse, Jenness Cortez became one of the most sought after sporting art painters in the world. Her paintings are in numerous public and private collections including those of Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, HRH Queen Elizabeth, II, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Alexander, Mr. Edgar Bronfman, Ms. Virginia Kraft Payson, Ambassador True Davis, Mr. Henry Kravis, Mr. Ogden Mills Phipps, Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, Congressman Gerald Solomon, Gov. George Pataki, Gov. Hugh Carey, John Schuerholz, Atlanta Braves general manager,New York State Museum, Fluor Corporation, Saratoga Harness, Inc., Skidmore College and SUNY Empire State College.
In her latest works, Jenness Cortez pays homage to history's most celebrated artists. Inspired by the light, color and form of the great masters, Cortez skillfully incorporates their time-honored images into exquisitely painted contemporary settings. Eeach new Cortez composition offers an abundance of precise, accurate detail and sensitive aesthetic balance. As a brilliant technician, her dynamic and rich compositions entreat the viewer's eye to move eagerly through these paintings again and again--enjoyably discovering and absorbing every rewarding nuance.
Cortez's representations of the phenomenal world are sensitive, passionate, entertaining and deeply moving. Regardless of subject, her work exhibits a mystical ability to capture the soul of her subjects and to communicate poetically the essence of the moment and the place.
Judging from the enormous range and versatility of her work, numerous critics and art historians believe that Jenness Cortez is in the process of creating one of the most distinguished bodies of work in American history.