Berlin – Petra Cortright: “Platinum Blonde Black Knight” at Société Through November 17, 2018

November 10th, 2018

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Petra Cortright, Platinum Blonde Black Knight (Installation View), all images via Anna Corrigan for Art Observed.


On view through November 17, Société presents Petra Cortright’s Platinum Blonde Black Night. The Los Angeles-based artist is known for her early works of webcam self-portrait videos posted to her YouTube account. Recently, Cortright has incorporated works in painting, sculpture, and video into her practice. This is the artist’s third exhibition with the gallery.

Cortright’s new series is comprised of 17 digital paintings printed on aluminum, Belgian linen, and paper. To create these images, the artist works with a ‘mother file’ that contains hundreds of layers of imagers. She manipulates these layers in extended painting session, using the computer as her canvas. This is done in Photoshop, using digital paintbrushes that the artist has either downloaded or developed herself. The result is a series of luminous floral still-lives that transform and speak to each other in the space of the gallery.

Petra Cortright, Platinum Blonde Black Knight (Installation View)

In these works, Cortright seeks to manipulate light, color, and texture to create depth through digital processes. While the artist has expressed impatience with the time-consuming process of painting, she hopes to channel Monet and his contemporaries’ approach to painting ‘wet-on-wet’, or creating works that are both produced and designed to be consumed quickly. Working digitally, Cortright states she is able to carry out more complex visual operations than if she were working with her hands. Indeed, many of the images possess a tempo or musicality in their gestural quality. This investment in speed is countered, though, by the time-consuming process from which many of these images are sourced: gardening.

Petra Cortright, Platinum Blonde Black Knight (Installation View)

While many of the layers of earlier paintings derived from found images, sourced from various random search tactics, the colors and textures in this series are sourced from digital photographs the artist took in her own garden. In this way, these works straddle the digital and physical realms, as well as the tension between speed and slowness cited in the practice of digital painting itself. Nonetheless, both digital paintings and gardening share meditative, trancelike qualities, and the color and texture that reverberate between these paintings and within the space of the gallery testifies to a happy collaboration between the two.

Petra Cortright, Platinum Blonde Black Knight (Installation View)

These images range from scenes of somber and haunted botanical nostalgia to those of chaotic, brightly colored frenzy. In COGNAC “Die By The Sword 2”_florida lotto results FULL QUAKE, for example, a group of vivid red peonies cluster against a bold blue and yellow background. Sweeping swaths of white paint and energetic lines lend this scene dynamic movement and urgency. In 3d voodoo_70cm In Los Angeles “aamco”, however, a bouquet of dried blossoms falls against a background of mottled pastel and earth tones. In this exhibition, an affective range compliments the pairing of unlikely but complimentary artistic bedfellows: the botanical and the digital, performing an exchange between immediate, impatient production and the patience demanded by watching paint dry.

— A. Corrigan

Related Links:
Exhibition Page [Société]