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ART X Lagos: Nigeria’s Art Renaissance Ocula Report ART X Lagos: Nigeria’s Art Renaissance 17 November 201817 Nov 2018 : Jareh Das for Ocula

Nigeria's art scene has flourished over the last decade, leading to a renewed interest in cultivating and supporting modern and contemporary art in the country. Ranked Africa's largest economy in 2017, making up 0.8 percent of the world's GDP, a surge in wealth amongst some individuals has led to a developing collector base (not to mention rising...

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Cao Fei Ocula Conversation Cao Fei Artist

Cao Fei's first large-scale institutional exhibition in Asia, A hollow in a world too full (8 September 2018–4 January 2019), is taking place at Tai Kwun Contemporary in Hong Kong, the city's new non-profit art centre housed in a former colonial police and prison complex in Central. Organised in collaboration with Ullens Center for Contemporary Art...

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Shanghai's West Bund and Art021 fairs overlap in 2018 Ocula Report Shanghai's West Bund and Art021 fairs overlap in 2018 17 November 201817 Nov 2018 : Diana d’Arenberg for Ocula

The last time I visited West Bund Art & Design was four years ago, when the fair was in its first year of operation: a small, boutique offering held in a cavernous hangar that seemed too big for it. Much has changed since then. Mirroring the rapid development of the city itself, West Bund has grown from 25 galleries in 2014 to a fair that...

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At the heart of Mary Corse's practice lies an interest in the subjective experiences of light and colour. As an artist positioned on the periphery of the American Light and Space Movement, Mary Corse is known for her lightboxes and monochromatic paintings made with a unique mixture of acrylic paint and reflective glass beads.

Originating in Southern California in the 1960s, the Light and Space Movement referred to a group of loosely associated artists who shared a penchant for exploring perceptual phenomena and pioneering the then-unconventional use of plastic, glass, resin and neon fluorescent lights in art. Partially influenced by the brilliant California landscape and its bright sun, ocean and surf culture, artists such as James Turrell, Robert Irwin and John McCracken developed a visual aesthetic that focused on perfectly polished surfaces and minimalist abstract forms. As one of the few women artists associated with the movement, Corse's contribution was not recognised until recently. While sharing with her contemporaries an understanding of perception as a subjective experience, she developed a distinctive practice that differs substantially from others of the movement in her deliberate inclusion of evidence of the artist's hand.

Throughout her career, Corse has experimented with embedding luminescence in her paintings, with a particular focus on white light. Beginning in 1966, Corse worked on a series of lightboxes that consist of Plexiglas lit by fluorescent and, later, argon-filled tubes. For another series titled 'Electric Light' (1968), she studied quantum physics and wireless cording to create light paintings suspended from the ceiling. It was also during this year that Corse discovered the possibility of mixing acrylic paint with the microspheres—glass reflector beads used to mark road dividers on the highway—that would become a hallmark of her work.

Having focused on all-white paintings in the 1960s, Corse began to introduce black in the following decade. Black Light Painting (1975), for instance, depicts a composition of white and black quadrangles. By painting the black sections in acrylic paint mixed with minuscule acrylic squares and microspheres, Corse transformed the colour black—commonly thought of as the absence of light—into a luminous shade.

Corse's evolving experimentation with light is grounded in her belief in the range of possibilities available to a single colour depending on light and perspective. From one angle, her acrylic paintings may appear to have an uninterrupted surface of monochromatic grids; from another angle, however, the varied texture of the brushstrokes and microspheres become visible, altering the impression of the same work. This optical illusion was extended with Corse's use of the 'inner band'—a composition of alternating columns of white and shades of grey—from 1996 onwards, in which vertical stripes appear and disappear as the viewer changes position.

Corse graduated with a BFA from the Chouinard Art Institute (now CalArts), Los Angeles, in 1963 and received her MFA from the same school in 1968. Her recent solo and group exhibitions in selected institutions include Lisson Gallery, London (2018); Seattle Art Museum (2015); University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor (2014); J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (2011); Gropius Bau, Berlin (2011); and Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (2011). In 2018 the Whitney Museum of American Art organised A Survey in Light, Corse's first solo museum survey. The artist lives and works in Los Angeles.

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2018
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Featured Artworks

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Untitled by Mary Corse contemporary artwork Mary CorseUntitled, 2000 Acrylic and glass microspheres on paper
16.5 x 28 x 1.5 cm
Kayne Griffin Corcoran Request price & availability
Untitled (Black Inner Band with Black Sides) by Mary Corse contemporary artwork Mary CorseUntitled (Black Inner Band with Black Sides), 1998 Glass microspheres in acrylic on canvas
90.2 x 90.2 x 3.8 cm
Kayne Griffin Corcoran Request price & availability
Untitled (Electric Light) by Mary Corse contemporary artwork Mary CorseUntitled (Electric Light), 1968/2018 Argon, Plexiglas, high frequency generator, light tubes, monofilament
125.4 x 125.4 x 15.2 cm
Lisson Gallery Request price & availability
Untitled (White Black White, Beveled) by Mary Corse contemporary artwork Mary CorseUntitled (White Black White, Beveled), 2018 Glass microspheres in acrylic on canvas
259.1 x 259.1 cm
Lisson Gallery Request price & availability
Untitled (White Inner Band, Beveled) by Mary Corse contemporary artwork Mary CorseUntitled (White Inner Band, Beveled), 2012 Glass microspheres in acrylic on canvas
289.6 x 228.6 cm
Lisson Gallery Request price & availability
Untitled (White, Black, Beveled) by Mary Corse contemporary artwork Mary CorseUntitled (White, Black, Beveled), 2018 Glass microspheres in acrylic on canvas
28 x 120 inches
Lehmann Maupin Request price & availability
Untitled (White Light Square Corners) by Mary Corse contemporary artwork Mary CorseUntitled (White Light Square Corners), 1970 Glass microspheres in acrylic on canvas
274.3 x 274.3 cm
Kayne Griffin Corcoran Request price & availability
Untitled (DNA Series) by Mary Corse contemporary artwork Mary CorseUntitled (DNA Series), 2017 acrylic squares and glass microspheres in acrylic on canvas
50 x 33 inches
Lehmann Maupin Request price & availability

Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Mary Corse, Mary Corse at Lisson Gallery,
Closed
11 May–23 June 2018 Mary Corse Mary CorseLisson Gallery, Lisson Street, London
Contemporary art exhibition, Mary Corse, Solo Exhibition at Lehmann Maupin,
Closed
7 September–7 October 2017 Mary Corse Solo ExhibitionLehmann Maupin, 536 West 22nd Street, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition Organised by DeWain Valentine, Plastic Show at Almine Rech Gallery,
Closed
9 February–25 March 2017 Group Exhibition Organised by DeWain Valentine Plastic ShowAlmine Rech Gallery, London

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Ocula Magazine

New York Exhibitions: The Autumn Lowdown Ocula Report New York Exhibitions: The Autumn Lowdown 14 September 201814 Sep 2018 : Jareh Das for Ocula

The autumn exhibition season has officially kicked off in New York, with countless solo and group exhibitions featuring emerging, mid-career, and established artists, with some exhibiting works in the US for the first time. With a host of exhibitions to choose from, including a series of stellar museum exhibitions whose runs are nearing completion,...

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Related Press

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MARY CORSE: A Survey in Light Related Press MARY CORSE: A Survey in Light The Brooklyn Rail : 11 July 2018

At the entrance to Mary Corse: A Survey in Light at the Whitney Museum of American Art, a monitor plays White Light (1968), a film showing a young Mary Corse at work in her studio. In one scene, Corse holds a square of fluorescent tubing, moving it playfully in front of the camera. The square begins to glow, seemingly from within, without any...

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The Californian Artist Posing Questions of Light and Space Related Press The Californian Artist Posing Questions of Light and Space AnOther Magazine : 6 June 2018

With a recent gallery installation at Dia:Beacon and an upcoming solo show at the Whitney in New York, Mary Corse is having a significant, well-earned moment of recognition. Working as a dedicated artist since the 1960s, she is one of few women connected to California’s west coast Light and Space movement. Directionally, though, her artistic focus...

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Quantum leap for Mary Corse as clutch of shows brings overdue recognition Related Press Quantum leap for Mary Corse as clutch of shows brings overdue recognition The Art Newspaper : 4 May 2018

At the age of 72, Mary Corse will have her first solo museum exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art next month. A group of her pioneering abstract paintings has also recently been acquired by the Dia Art Foundation. Now recognised as sharing affinities with works by artists in the California Light and Space movement, including James...

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Spotlight On Mary Corse Related Press Spotlight On Mary Corse Architectural Digest : 25 January 2018

Nestled in a canyon on the outskirts of Los Angeles, artist Mary Corse’s house and studio are a short drive—but a world away—from the city’s hustle and bustle. Cell service cuts out en route to her home, which is reached via a single-lane bridge and winding dirt road. Neighbors are few and far between, affording Corse ample room to paint in...

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Related Video

Mary Corse in Conversation with Carolina A. Miranda Related Video & Audio Mary Corse in Conversation with Carolina A. Miranda Kayne Griffin Corcoran : 6 June 2018

Artist Mary Corse in conversation with Los Angeles Times culture writer and winner of the 2017 Rabkin Prize in Visual Arts Journalism Carolina A. Miranda at Kayne Griffin Corcoran discussing Corse's practice, why she often produces her own art materials and tools, and her friendship with James Turrell.

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