Petra Cortright - Contemporary Day Sale London Wednesday, July 2, 2014 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Provenance

    Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles

  • Catalogue Essay

    Petra Cortright’s work exemplifies the practice of digital art that questions the interaction between virtual and physical space. Cortright is an emblem of the new generation of artists that grew up alongside digital technology and the internet and shares in the opinions of contemporary artists, such as Wade Guyton, in her appreciation of this virtual medium. In a similar manner she has managed to move beyond the medium of jpegs, online programming and YouTube to incorporate elements of this online experience into conceptual practice.

    Her most recent works feature paintings on three different mediums: aluminum, silk and polyester. The images are created using Photoshop and are developed through a wide range of actions; including layering, blending, mirroring, copying, erasing, inverting, smudging and mixing. The paintings on silk are taken from her webcam video stills and represent the physical element of her virtual work. ‘The nice thing about doing these paintings on aluminum or silk is that once things leave the digital realm, I have no control—I can’t make these things with my own hands, but that is why it’s so nice—to be able to go beyond what you can do as just one person and produce beautiful things with the help of professionals.’

    The present lot, Untitled, 2011, is a digital painting on satin. The qualities of this chosen medium allow for it to be hung slack from its top corners. The soft, translucent strokes of the painting billow across the fabric in ways that reflect the qualities of the material itself as well as its pictorial content. The depicted palm tree represents movement in the swaying leaves and this dynamism is also portrayed in the cloudlike formations loosely depicted in the lower central section of the piece. Cortright’s work seems to reflect ease and consequence in both concept and technique: ‘my stuff is so flexible’, and thus, in her adaptability, successfully manages to merge technology with individual, artistic inspiration.

  • Artist Biography

    Petra Cortright


    Taking from the tradition of gestural painting, Los Angeles-based artist Petra Cortright uses floral imagery to recreate Monet-type works on aluminum. But unlike those who preceded her, Cortright is digitally charged in her practice and renders analog images into "digital brushstrokes." She sources her images online and manipulates them in Photoshop in the hopes of constructing a palimpsestic sprawl. With the hint of glitch and a pinch of selfie culture, her work is self-reflexive in that it studies the progression of Abstract Expressionism into our current historical moment.

    Cortright started her career by posting self-portrait videos taken by webcam to her own YouTube channel. The videos feature the artist scrolling through various recording effects.

    View More Works


Night Heat 11

digital painting on satin
184.2 x 129.5 cm (72 1/2 x 50 7/8 in.)

£5,000 - 7,000 

Sold for £7,500

Contact Specialist
Henry Highley
Head of Sale
+ 44 20 7318 4061

Contemporary Day Sale

London Auction 3 July 2014 2PM