Petra Cortright

haunted lemon hunted spirit

15 Jul – 12 Aug 2023

Often referred to as a leading figure in the “Post-Internet Art” movement, Petra Cortright collates information from the internet and her everyday surrounds, densely layering hundreds of found images and custom digital brush strokes into captivating digital paintings and video works. For her debut exhibition with 1301SW, Cortright will present a suite of works exemplified by this overarching system of the digital hunter/gatherer of new age media.

Titled haunted lemon hunted spirit, this exhibition includes two bodies of paintings, both gently and abruptly developing from one work to the next. Cortright’s digital files are in an endlessly modifiable state, but at a “decisive moment” they are translated into the works now in front of us. They become finite, yet their range of motifs and marks, and their disorienting perspectives and dimensions suggest dynamic change. Created from a large mother file that is endlessly additive and modifiable, she points to the volatility of the digital medium, where her boundless process of selecting and editing butts up against the infinite flow of information, preserving fragments in filters and effects. 

Fed through Photoshop and painting software, Cortright’s work confounds the boundary between digital and analogue. Her practice is centred around the creation and distribution of digital and physical images using consumer or corporate software, whilst also referencing the mark makers of two schools of gestural painting: the layering and rapid brush strokes of the Abstract Expressionists with the soft blurring of the Impressionists. A hyper-contemporary development from the idyllic landscapes of the Impressionists, her immersive world building collapses space and weather into one composition, offering enveloping environments that are geographically impossible and often display several different biomes in one.