Petra Cortright at City Gallery Wellington

The first thing that drew me to Petra Cortrights work was the beauty of the paintings, there seems to be so much light that emanates from the work which creates this intense illusion of depth. I actually didn’t realise her work was digital at first glance so I was shocked to realise that all of the works in this exhibition are composed from one file, working quickly through many layers in photoshop and then printed onto tactile and painterly materials such as linen and silk. For me it is a very painterly process yet I have seen photos of her studio and its more like entering a high tech graphic designers studio, however this hands off distancing appears to produce images of startling emotion and feeling. Her paintings remind me of another Californian artist that I look up to, Mary Heilmann, there is a similar quality of light and life in both artists practices.

An exhibition I might have to travel to Wellington to see.

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