Pale Coil Cold Angel
2 Cork Street, London W1S 3LB
8 June - 20 July, 2018
Nahmad Projects will present a solo exhibition by Petra Cortright, opening on 8th June 2018. The exhibition will feature works in 2D, 3D, and video. The artist will present stone sculptures for the first time in the form of three works carved from white Carrara marble, and a six-metre wide quadriptych will be the largest painting by the artist to date. A video installation is the latest in her “painting video” series. Cortright is a twenty-first century painter using contemporary tools. The Los Angeles-based artist is a celebrated member of a diffuse group known as “post internet” artists, who explore the effect of digital culture on the development of fine art. After a series of critically acclaimed webcam performances distributed on YouTube, the artist consolidated her practice by using Adobe Photoshop to make paintings using brushes and images mined from internet search engines. Her use of platforms like Pinterest subverts traditionally gender normative content such as flowers and interiors, freeing this imagery into expansive digital landscapes. The title of the show is also drawn from search terms used online. A final painting is a captured still from a master file that could be modified endlessly, so while her two-dimensional objects are static, they suggest dynamic change in reference to their source.
“I’ve tried regular painting. I hated it,” Cortright said in a 2015 interview with ARTnews. “It’s really slow and I thought it was the dumbest thing in the world. You can’t copy and paste or undo.” Adobe software can mimic physical painting: virtual brushes can carry multiple colours at once, their hairs can be sized and shaped, and even the paint can vary its wetness. Each work in the show expands our definition of painting: the video animates the artist’s process of building a master file with her invisible digital hand; the sculptures are 2D digital brushstrokes extruded into 3D shapes, which the artist transfers into marble from their virtual existence.
Petra Cortright was born in Santa Barbara in 1986 and lives and works in Los Angeles. She studied at Parsons School for Design in New York City, and the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Selected solo exhibitions include: +”venus de milo” +turtles +sounds, City Gallery, Wellington (2017); RUNNING NEO-GEO GAMES UNDER MAME, Tristian Koenig, Melbourne (2017); quack doctor violet “saltwater fish”, 1301PE, Los Angeles (2017); DIE ROSE, Société, Berlin (2016); ORANGE BLOSSOM PRINCESS FUCKING BUTTERCUP, Carl Kostyal, London (2016); Zero-Day Darling, Ever Gold [Projects], San Francisco (2016).