Petra Cortright
xxx BLank BLANk bLANk…

Steve Turner

November 5, 2013

Petra Cortright
xxx BLank BLANk bLANk…

November 9–December 21, 2013

Opening: Saturday, November 9, 7–9pm

Steve Turner Contemporary
6026 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90036

Steve Turner Contemporary is pleased to present xxx BLank BLANk bLANk…, Los Angeles-based artist Petra Cortright’s first solo exhibition at the gallery featuring webcam videos, flash animations and paintings on aluminum, silk and polyester. Cortright created all of the works on her computer, and they will be interspersed throughout the gallery. Cortright has said that all she needs to make work is a computer and that all the tools and content she needs are available on the internet. Whatever the program, she only uses the default settings, thereby avoiding invention while championing reuse.

Of the mediums in xxx BLank BLANk bLANk…, Cortright has been making webcam videos the longest. They range in duration from 15 to 90 seconds and they are all self-portraits entirely free of post-production editing. She periodically uploads new works to YouTube, with the number of viewers determining the value of each work. The price list for this exhibition might, therefore, be the first to state: “Check the internet for pricing.”

Cortright’s flash animations consist of content downloaded hundreds of times from disparate websites, for example, strippers in fantasy landscapes with unicorns, chirping birds and mooing cows. She reformats the images into one seamless never-ending animation.

Cortright’s most recent works are paintings printed on three mediums—aluminum, silk and polyester. Using Photoshop, she has created fantasy landscapes on aluminum consisting of scores of layers. The imagery is developed through a wide range of actions, including hiding, erasing, mirroring, copying, pasting, inverting, blending, smudging, blurring and mixing. The paintings on silk are images of Cortright that were taken from her webcam video stills, while the thick polyester flags are like a contemporary sampler of paint effects. 

Petra Cortright (b. 1986, Santa Barbara, California) completed a semester of study at the California College for the Arts, San Francisco and nearly two years at Parsons, New York before she realized that she was not suited for a formal education. She is part of a new generation of artists that grew up with computers, digital technology and the internet—she had her first computer at the age of one. She started to present work on the internet at age fifteen and has been one of the best known and most widely exhibited internet artists over the last decade. In the last few years, Cortright has also earned acclaim for her exhibitions in brick-and-mortar galleries. She has moved beyond just jpegs, websites and YouTube and has begun to incorporate elements of the online experience into her conceptual practice. 

Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions including the Internet Pavillion at the Venice Biennale (2009); the San Jose Biennial (2010); the Biennale de Lyon (2013) and Frieze Film (2013).