LA couple premiere contemporary exhibit

Petra Cortright and Marc Horowitz, a married couple's first duo-solo-exhibition, presenting their diverse but harmonious masterpieces, is on in Shanghai.
Petra Cortright / BANK

Digital painting “cirrus Logic breadmaker council ‘gamewarez’”

Following the long stairs down to the BANK gallery, there is a novel webcam video created by Petra Cortright and Marc Horowitz, a married couple but also two independent contemporary artists based in Los Angeles. Their first duo-solo-exhibition, presenting their diverse but harmonious masterpieces, is on in Shanghai.

The exhibition fully expresses their individualism and shared artistic and aesthetic notions in their collaborated masterpieces. 

“Petra and I find out that the Internet is not that pleasant anymore,” said Horowitz. “There is not much room for individualism. Everything is sort of homogenized and there is so much pushing when in fact the Internet should be free and open,” said Horowitz.

Associated with Internet art, post-Internet painting and video art, Cortright is a post-Internet artist whose core practice is creation and distribution of digital files. With the help of software, she combines original and appropriated elements in unique, fantastical, all-over compositions, which are printed on fabrics or aluminum. 

Her webcam videos playfully explore formal properties of video software and representation of physical bodies in digital space. Her paintings and videos, which probe into the perception of women online, suggest her preference of natural flow and the magic of dynamic change. 

Marc Horowitz / BANK

“De-narrativization”

“Petra is into the domestic things like the house, the furniture and fashion. She really gets a lot of inspiration from being domestic,” said Horowitz. 

Compared to his wife, who tends to glide through the work, Horowitz pulls inspiration from art history. 

“I like dark scenes like wars and in my works I try to complex everything,” he said. “Sometimes I just feel like the philosophy behind the work is too much.”

With the idea that “each painting contains the memory of painting,” Horowitz intends to give a sense of collapsing of time through his work as well as comedy. 

Piling up different elements like color chunks and war scenes, Horowitz views his representation of comedy “enthusiastic and almost clownish.”

After the US, Britain and Australia, the exhibition tour set their stop in Shanghai with 34 of the couple’s masterpieces. “We feel Shanghai is the most international city in China and this city has a good taste,” said Horowitz, finding himself deeply connected with oriental culture. “Traveling in China is definitely inspiring. How robust and big the culture, how strong the spirit is in China is unbelievable. The culture as well as its people are so poetic.” 

Impressed by a Chinese contemporary artist, Chen Xi, who stands out in the field of animation video creation, Horowitz takes consideration of using new technologies like artificial intelligence and virtual reality to their works. 

“I want to make my video characters in VR or computer animated works. I can make the impossible possible through art. There is no rule and nothing can really bind you,” said Horowitz.

The exhibition will run through May 20 at Building 2, Lane 298 Anfu Rd. 

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