City Gallery City Gallery Wellington

Media Release: City Gallery Presents Petra Cortright

25 March, 2017

City Gallery Wellington presents the first New Zealand exhibition from Los Angeles-based artist Petra Cortright. Opening 8 April, RUNNING NEO-GEO GAMES UNDER MAME features a suite of digital paintings on linen and paper, screen-based video paintings, YouTube-hosted webcam videos and a series of Flash animations which apply the aesthetics of the desktop screensaver to the gallery wall.

Cortright rose to prominence in the mid-2000s with a series of webcam videos she posted to YouTube, layering the webcam software’s filters and default live effects. These videos have been hailed as key early proponents of ‘post-internet art’ and have evolved into an ongoing collaboration with fashion designer Stella McCartney.

In her new digital paintings, Cortright uses Adobe Photoshop to manipulate internet-sourced forms and imagery lifted from sites like Pinterest and Google Images. This material is transformed into layered painterly compositions that revisit traditional forms like landscape, still life or abstraction. This process has even seen Cortright called ‘the Monet of the 21st century.’

Curator Aaron Lister says, “Cortright’s painting is of and for the contemporary moment. This exhibition will shake or reaffirm people’s perception of what painting is or can be—her practice is redefining the role and possibilities for art in the digital age.”

“While challenging the idea of what painting can be, Cortright doesn’t have an antagonistic response to what’s gone before—she loves the language and romance of painting, she believes in beauty, but approaches it all through internet-based processes of making and presentation. She gives painting and the nature of aesthetic experience a system upgrade,” says Lister.

Petra Cortright: RUNNING NEO-GEO GAMES UNDER MAME is a partnership with Tristian Koenig Gallery, Melbourne.

About the artist: Petra Cortright’s core practice is the creation and distribution of digital files, whether they be videos, GIFs, or JPEGs, using consumer or corporate software and platforms. Cortright lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She studied Fine Arts at Parsons School of Design, The New School, New York, NY (2008) and the California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA (2004). Selected exhibitions include: “Electronic Superhighway,” Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2016); The Metabolic Age, MALBA, Buenos Aires, Argentina; “On YouTube. Kunst und Playlists aus 10 Jahren,“ Kunsthaus Langenthal, Switzerland; “Im Inneren der Stadt,” Künstlerhaus Bremen, Germany; 1301PE, Los Angeles (solo, 2017); Carl Kostyál, London, UK (solo, 2016); Depart Foundation, Los Angeles, CA (solo); Foxy Production, New York, NY (solo) (both 2015); Société, Berlin, Germany (solo); (2014 and 2016); Frieze Film, Frieze London, UK; 12th Bienniale de Lyon, France (both 2013); and Preteen Gallery, Mexico DF (solo) (2011).

Petra Cortright: RUNNING NEO-GEO GAMES UNDER MAME

8 April – 13 August 2017, Free entry

For all media enquiries, please contact Olivia Lacey, olivial@experiencewellington.org.nz, 021 022 40312