Petra Cortright (Santa Barbara, CA, 1986) 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).
Petra Cortright’s core practice is the creation and distribution of digital and physical images using consumer or corporate softwares. She became renowned for making self-portrait videos that use her computer’s webcam and default effects tools, which she would then upload to YouTube and caption with spam text. Cortright’s paintings on aluminum, linen, paper, or acrylic are created in Photoshop using painting software and appropriated images, icons, and marks. The digital files are endlessly modifiable, but at a “decisive moment” they are translated into two-dimensional objects. They become finite, yet their range of motifs and marks, and their disorienting perspectives and dimensions suggest
Selected exhibitions include "The Body Electric,” Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; "Dirty Protest: Selections from the Hammer,” Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; "Now Playing: Video 1999-2019,” Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art; "Hate Speech: Aggression and Imitation,” Künstlerhaus, Halle für Kunst & Medien, Austria; "Plugged-In Paintings,” SITE131, Dallas, TX; Midnight Moment, Times Square Arts, NY, “Primary Directives,” Marlborough Contemporary, London (all 2019); “I Was Raised On the Internet,” MCA Chicago, IL (2018); Ural Industrial Biennial, Ekaterinberg, Russia; City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand (both 2017); "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; (all 2015); Frieze Film, London, UK; 12th Bienniale de Lyon, France (both 2013); the Venice Bienniale,
Solo exhibitions include Nahmad Projects, London (solo, 2018); 1301PE, Los Angeles (solo, 2017 and 2019); City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand (solo, 2017); Carl Kostyál, London, UK (solo, 2016); Ever Gold Projects, San Francisco (solo, 2018 and 2016); Depart Foundation, Los Angeles (solo, 2015); Foxy Production, New York, NY (solo, 2017 and 2015); Société, Berlin, Germany (solo, 2014 and 2016); and Preteen Gallery, Mexico DF (solo, 2011). Public projects have included commissions from Frank Gehry Partners, LLP, and SketchedSpace in Seoul, South Korea.
Cortright’s works are in the permanent collections of The Péréz Museum, Miami; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; MOCA Los Angeles; Rhizome’s Net Art Anthology; MOTI, Breda, in collaboration with Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; MCA Chicago; Kadist Foundation, Paris, San Francisco; BAMPFA, Berkeley, CA, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose; MOCA Los Angeles; and Rhizome’s Net Art Anthology, New York.
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