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Petra Cortright – NIKI, LUCY, LOLA, VIOLA - Depart Foundation - Exhibitions - Simchowitz Gallery

Press Release by Depart Foundation

Los Angeles - Depart Foundation announced today its first solo exhibition of works by Los Angeles based artist Petra Cortright. Curated by Paul Young, NIKI, LUCY, LOLA, VIOLA, on view July 9 – September 12, 2015, will present an immersive viewing experience that features large-scale Flash animations, new video works and animated digital paintings. Cortright’s internet-inspired artworks play with the vernacular of viral internet culture by appropriating some of its most common forms and transforming them into singular, carefully orchestrated, hybrid works that fall somewhere between ironic distantiation and the sincere—its generic forms and content from online.  

NIKI, LUCY, LOLA, VIOLA will feature a series of new video works and animations by Cortright, compiled from open-source, screensaver software, and purchased virtual strippers. “Niki”, “Lucy”, “Lola” and “Viola”, are the virtual erotic dancers purchased by Cortright, from readily available online software, to populate her own synthetic and painterly landscapes and green screen voids. Presented within an immersive installation environment, which will include atmospheric audio components, these works selfconsciously offer an infinite virtual redundancy in their repetition and absence of real-time.  

Alongside these works, Cortright will also be presenting a series of animated digital paintings complied from hundreds of digital layers. These paintings are a combination of abstract gestures, made with customized computer-based paintbrush software, and representational fragments, consisting of sampled clip art and imagery found online. The mesmerizing animation of these dense layers will subtly convey the artist’s meditative process of “painting,” revealing the slow accretion of the work’s ambient surfaces.    

Cortright is most well known for her webcam videos; “selfie” inspired digital portraits that are equal parts performance and documentary. No longer than two-minutes each, in keeping with the cultural attention deficit its context suggests, these videos tend to be diaristic in tone, beautifully irreverent and intimately poignant in their intentional fallibility. These, and her current works, embody the peripatetic anxiety of a culture raised with virtual modalities of self-expression, while also humanizing the impoverishment of these digital ruins with intelligence and play. Cortright straddles an ambivalent position as both an avid participant in the banality of this culture, born and raised in the age of technocracy, and as a vehicle for its dismantling and critical fracture.  

A catalog entitled CHARLI, DAISY, BLANCA, BIANCA will be released in conjunction with the exhibition, published by NERO. An additional experimental book project, NIKI, LUCY, LOLA, VIOLA, created with designer Mathew Timmons, will also accompany the exhibition.  

Petra Cortright  

Petra Cortright has exhibited extensively internationally. Her recent exhibitions include: Petra Cortright, Foxy Production, New York, NY (2015), Petra Cortright, Société, Berlin, Germany (2014), Fútbol: The Beautiful Game, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA (2014), Petra Cortright, Carl Kostyal, Stockholm, Sweden (2014), ASMR, MAMA, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2014), ✖✗✘ BLank BLANk bLANk, Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA (2013), VICKY DEEP IN SPRING VALLEY, Club Midnight, Berlin, Germany (2012) and SO WET, Preteen Gallery, Mexico City, Mexico (2011). Cortright was featured in the Biennale de Lyon, in 2013, and in the Venice Biennale, in 2009. Notable commissions include, Tags for Likes, Comissioned by MOCAtv, MOCA, Los Angeles, CA  (2014), Bridal Shower, Commissioned by Frieze Film 2013 and EMPAC, London, UK (2013). Cortright was an honoree at this year’s Rhizome Future-Proof benefit, and is currently collaborating with British fashion designer Stella McCartney, creating video works for the designer’s eponymous clothing line.  

Paul Young  

Paul Young is a curator and writer based in Los Angeles. Specialized in curating exhibitions dealing with moving image art forms, he has organized video programs and new media exhibitions worldwide. Recent curatorial projects include: Silicon Valley Contemporary (2013); Supertemporal at the Kulturhuset Museum in Stockholm (2012); Portugal Arte, Lisbon's fist biennial; CinemaLoop at the 2010 edition of Arco in Madrid, and Remote Viewing, a large scale exhibition of international video art at the ASM in Barcelona (2010). Young has lectured widely on the subject of video art at such venues as the CCCB in Barcelona, the LOOP fair in Barcelona, the Fresh Paint Fair in Tel Aviv, Art Forum Berlin. His writing has been published widely, with articles appearing in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Variety, Artnews, Art LTD, and Art & Auction and he was formerly an art columnist for the Los Angeles Times for three years and Angeleno magazine for five years.  Young is also the author of Art Cinema (Taschen), a comprehensive overview of how art practices have converged with the cinematic practices.  Previous to that he worked as a filmmaker and won numerous awards for his short films and documentaries, and later became an editor at Daily Variety.  Young is also the founder and director of Young Projects Gallery in Los Angeles, which is a contemporary art space devoted to moving image art forms. There he has presented the work of Roman Signer, Wood & Harrison, Gary Hill, Michael Snow, Christoph Draeger and many more.

DEPART Foundation  

DEPART Foundation is an emerging arts organization predicated on the discussion, exhibition and production of art and is dedicated to the development and support of contemporary artists whose work and careers are departing from their previous endeavors or predecessors.  Since its founding in 2008, DEPART Foundation has served as a catalyst for the Italian art and cultural community, strengthening the dialogue between Italy and the international art world. Like multiple outposts in Europe and U.S., DEPART Foundation has actively encouraged artistic production through sponsorship of young and established artists and the provision of spaces and resources conducive to the research, production and exhibition of new work, and to the presentation of educational and public programs.  Some of the most interesting and dynamic artists of our time, from around the world, have been presented for the first time in Rome by DEPART Foundation. They include Cory Arcangel, Joe Bradley, Nate Lowman, Ryan McGinley, Tauba Auerbach, Darren Bader, Louis Eisner, Roe Ethridge, Sam Falls, Mark Flood, Elias Hansen, Brendan Lynch, Oscar Murillo, Sarah Braman, Seth Price, Jon Rafman, Stephen G. Rhodes, Amanda Ross-Ho, Sterling Ruby, Lucien Smith, Valerie Snobeck, Frances Stark.  

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