Petra Cortright

Platinum Blonde Black Knight

25 Oct - 14 Dec 2018

Installation view
Platinum Blonde Black Knight
25 October – 14 December 2018

Société is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of new work by Petra Cortright. This will be Cortright’s third exhibition with the gallery. The Los Angeles-based artist first gained attention for webcam self-portrait videos altered by animated gifs that she would post to her YouTube account. In recent years, Cortright has expanded her practice to include works in painting, sculpture, and video.

Platinum Blonde Black Knight presents a new series of 17 digital paintings at Genthinerstraße 36. The works are printed on aluminum, Belgian linen, and paper. To create the paintings, Cortright works with a “mother file” comprising hundreds of layers of images, which she manipulates in extended painting sessions. Using the computer as her canvas, Cortright has created a series of luminous, frenzied floral still-lives on Photoshop, utilizing digital brushes that she has downloaded or developed herself.

In COGNAC “Die By The Sword 2”_florida lotto results FULL QUAKE (2018), a riotous accumulation of red peonies appear against a bold blue and yellow ground. Taut, energetic brown lines and sweeping swathes of white paint lend an expressive and chaotic quality to the image. 3d voodoo_70cm In Los Angeles “aamco” (2018) strikes a more somber note, depicting a moody bouquet of drooping blooms against a mottled pastel and earth tone ground.

The paintings in Platinum Blonde Black Knight exude elegance and harshness in equal measure. While digital images typically possess a certain flatness, Cortright masterfully manipulates light, color, and texture in her works to create an expansive sense of space. Her digital mark-making has a gestural, musical quality: diffuse translucent pools of color and looser marks are offset by staccato lines, daubs, and squiggles.

Cortright’s recent paintings are often compared to Claude Monet for their shared use of floral motifs—one need only think of Monet’s famous proclamation “I must have flowers, always and always.” Monet and his Impressionist contemporaries often painted “wet-on-wet,” creating works that were both captured and designed to be consumed quickly. Cortright shares this investment in speed, claiming that traditional painting is too slow and that working with the computer enables her to do more complex things than with her own hands. Petra herself proclaims impatience in regards to the traditional medium; waiting for paint to dry. A need for tempo paired with impatience is reflective of a young generations consensus.

The source material for her newest works emerge from a time-intensive process: gardening. While the layers of earlier paintings derived images found through digital dérives inspired by random search tactics, the colors and textures in the most recent body of work were sourced from digital photographs the artist took herself in her own garden. Although completely different operations, gardening and digital painting nonetheless share meditative, grounding, and even trancelike qualities. Cortright’s paintings therefore operate in the grey zone between digital and physical realms, their luminous quality informed as much by the ambient glow of the computer screen as the distinct qualities of California light.

Tags: Petra Cortright, Claude Monet