Petra Cortright Highlights

This month we asked Petra Cortright to select her favourite artists from AucArt. Nine of our most promising artists showcase their work in a range of mediums from works on paper to canvas.

Lucy Ralph

B Chehayeb

Mateusz von Motz

Khaleb Brooks

Oriele Steiner

Sarah Cunningham

Yulia Iosilzon

Agata Treccani

Ala Jazayeri

1994, uk

Lucy is a contemporary visual artist whose subtle compositions explore the body’s delicacy and resilience. At the age of 15 Lucy underwent total reconstruction and fusion of the spine which, although not disabling, has influenced many aspects of her life. This, as well as the complicated medical climate, continues to spur her interest with health and its exploration through art. 

A Charm, A Single Charm Is Doubtful, 2017

122 x 153 cm

Acrylic on canvas


I was attracted to this because of the composition and I love the domestic space it evokes. The subtleness of the figure is very beautiful.

1990, usa

B  is a contemporary artist whose practice closely orbits themes of memory, identity and time. Her recent works confront the unreliability of memory and transfiguration, induced by nostalgia and often characterised by her gestural abstractions.

I was drawn to a lot of pieces by this artist and decided on this one. Whilst it’s an abstract selection, I think the movement and mood stir up something floral and wonderful. I’m a big fan.

Garage Sale Money for Sushi, 2020

41 x 51 cm

Oil on panel


1994, uk

Mateusz is a Polish-German artist whose practice confronts ideas of memory, space, and deconstruction. His work combines architectural and natural forms, inspired by the concept of hyperreality. He continually explores the use of materiality, light, and technology through his practice.

Planting Fruits, 2019

150 x 112 cm

Oil and acrylic on canvas


This has the floral “mood” that I spoke of. Very fun and playful.


1991, usa

Khaleb is a multi-disciplinary artist and researcher exploring blackness, transness and collective memory. Through painting, performance and video, his latest works blur the lines between history and future in an attempt to explore the possibilities inherent in liminal spaces. A liminal space is in between worlds, dislocation, without rights, non- being. By meshing the black queer figure with surreal environments in paintings and entering transcendental states in performance, he forces his audience to confront the literal and social death of black trans people globally. 

This is a stunning piece, it’s haunting and seductive. A mermaid on a bed is “flowers”, I don’t care if anyone says otherwise. Also the wallpaper pattern is floral-esque so there you go.


Tryna Make a Way Out of No Way, 2020

153 x 107 cm

Acrylic on canvas


1993, uk

Oriele is a British painter whose work involves a wide array of techniques and processes. She uses colour and light as her principal means of experimentation and is particularly interested in the evocation of emotion through colour. Her works often comprise vivid dreamscapes inhabited by figures drawn from photography and the imagination. 

Snappy Club, 2019

21 x 30 cm

Oil pastel on paper


This is like Outsider art meets Matisse and I hold both those things very dear, so I was drawn to this.

1993, uk

Sarah  is a contemporary visual artist who explores the way in which organic patterns and textures resonate through the use of oil paint and natural pigments. She investigates both the presence of the flora and foliage that can be found within a landscape – as well as how the plants that inhabit these scenes can describe the habitats they are a part of. 

This is my favourite piece – it’s enchanting. You can sit with it for a while and it unfolds in a lovely way. A lot of times my judgement for art is, would I hang this in my home? The answer on this is yes, yes, yes.

Twilight Zone 2019

50 x 40 cm

Oil on canvas


1992, russia

Yulia is a London-based artist whose large-scale works  draw inspiration from children’s illustration, fashion and theatre to posit fragmentary narratives. An initial readability in her work is thrown into question by the persistent use of techniques which serve to interrupt the image and break down earlier impressions of visual plenitude. Yulia’s recent body of works explore the artist’s own deployment of burlesque, the grotesque, irony and humour in images.

Office Gossip, 2019

120 x 95 cm

Oil on transparent fabric


Another Matisse vibe, but hey there is nothing bad about being compared to a great artist! The movement and colour is gorgeous. I also really enjoyed her other works as well, the birds are brilliant and I almost chose one of those instead of this, anything would have worked with my theme, she has a lovely style.


1995, italy

Agata is a recently graduated artist whose practice explores contemporary theories of visual language fed by social-contemporary dynamics. Every brand, marketing action or story on instagram is an element of study and a possible creation tool like a pencil on a sheet of paper. Agata materialises this theory through her recent paintings, videos and new media with differing works revolving around unconventional methods exploiting the same research object “contemporaneity”.

The palm trees are flowering outside of my studio window as I type this on the edge of Los Angeles. I have a serious affection for palm tree art. The cell phone suggestion is chic. It’s dreamy and a little bit doomy and that balance keeps it from being saccharine.


Natural Celltower (SARIBUS), 2019

70 x 50 cm

Acrylic on canvas


1981, iran

Ala is a contemporary Iranian artist who was born 3 years after the Iranian Revolution and 1 year after the onset of the Iran-Iraq War. The inspiration for her work comes from her personal experiences, often exploring the relationship between place, memory, and dislocation in relation to the emotional and affective investments they provoke and generate. 

The Traces of Leaves, 2019

100 x 165 cm

Oil on canvas


This piece is so elegant. This was another artist where a number of works could have been selected – the way she works with rooms and dimensions is lovely and the color palette is opulent.