I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...
The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...
The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...
For her first major solo show in the UK, Mary Corse presents new and historically significant work at her inaugural exhibition at Lisson Gallery, London. Based in Los Angeles, Corse has built a practice that occupies an independent space at the intersection of minimalist painting, Abstract Expressionism and scientific inquiry. Obsessively engaging with light and perception, Corse's paintings embody rather than merely represent light, experimenting with the concept of subjective experience in new and innovative ways. From lightboxes to painting embedded with materials that refract light, Corse combines a philosophical quest for the portrayal of the infinite with a highly skilled methodical and scientific rigour. The exhibition at Lisson Gallery London coincides with two major presentations of the artist's work in the United States: Corse's first solo museum survey this June at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and a long-term installation at Dia:Beacon with recently acquired works, opening in May. Lisson Gallery's exhibition will feature ten works, including seven new works created specifically for the show. The presentation will include a selection from Corse's White Black White and White Inner Band painting series, alongside a new lightbox - with works spanning from 2003 to 2018.
First gaining recognition in the mid-1960s, Corse is widely recognised for her innovative painting technique using materials which both capture and refract light. In 1968, she developed her Electric Light series, for which she enrolled in a quantum physics course to allow her to secure the parts, engineer her own work, and experiment with wireless cording in order to 'free the light painting from the wall.' It was this further education that led Corse to her theory that humans experience reality through an eternally subjective lens, maintaining that 'there is nothing static in the universe. Compelled to bring the subjective back into her work, Corse re-embraced the paintbrush and focused further on light, incorporating unconventional materials into her paintings to investigate the subtle differences in surface treatment. It is these materials - including the glass microspheres found in the reflective lines on motor highways - that allow her work their enigmatic and seductive quality, shifting before your eyes as you move around them.
Corse's evolution as an artist has seen her refine and expand her practice, including the innovation of the 'inner band': a vertical stripe full of luminous, active brushstrokes that disappear into the surrounding field of the canvas from certain viewing angles. Realising that the inner band epitomised her career-long aim to demonstrate how dramatically perception affects our experience, she began a series of White Inner Band paintings in 1999. Since then, she has continued to hone her techniques, subtly evolve her core themes and resurrect materials from the preceding decades to captivating new ends.
The exhibition at Lisson Gallery will include Untitled (White Multiband, Vertical Strokes), 2003, incorporating glass microspheres in acrylic on canvas; multiple works from the innovative White Band series; and recent paintings from the Black Band series; alongside the lightbox Untitled (Electric Light), 1968/2017, composed of argon and Plexiglas.
About Mary Corse
Over more than fifty years, Mary Corse has built a practice that occupies an independent space at the intersection of Minimalism, Abstract Expressionism and scientific inquiry. While light is a major theme of her work, Corse's paintings embody light rather than merely representing it. Her primary focus lies in perception – how conditions and materials influence our subjective experience, and how the viewer's movement and position alter our understanding of her work moment by moment. For her first exhibition at Lisson Gallery, Corse will present a selection of pieces from multiple bodies of work that provide insight into her rich practice.
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