A Museum Educator Asks How We Can Feel Closer to Art
April 30, 2020
I love to share the story about how the youthful Mary Corse created this paint, first by seeing a problem to solve and then looking closely at the world around her for a creative solution. In this extended time of looking together, our curiosity has been piqued by listening to each other’s perspectives, sometimes hearing quieter classmates for the first time. This artwork calls us to slow down and to notice, to pay attention by being present — never knowing what gifts may abound when we take the time to look — closely, and together — tightly knit.
The Illusive, Intimate Nature of Mary Corse’s Paintings
December 11, 2019
In her current exhibition Recent Paintings at Pace Gallery, Mary Corse demonstrates that she is an active progenitor of multiple male-dominated movements of the sixties and seventies including Hard-edged abstraction, Minimalism, and the West Coast Light and Space movement. It is precisely her place at the center of this art-historical Venn-diagram and her penchant for blurring the lines of these movements that make her work innovative.
The Art Gang’s All Here—Christo, Kiki, Maya, Claes—For the Pace Gallery Opening
December 4, 2019
Fifty masters gather to celebrate an ambitious new tower in Chelsea—the world’s largest venue devoted to the sale of contemporary art.
‘New Realism’ of Mary Corse Invites The Viewer Into Her Luminous New Large-Scale Paintings
November 17, 2019
One painting disappears as you wander past it toward the next, your perception guiding you in different directions to view how light and time transform the colossal canvases of Mary Corse. The sprawling first floor of the immense new Pace Gallery flagship in New York is an ideal environment to linger and examine the new large-scale Inner Band glass microspheres in acrylic on canvas paintings that isolate fields of primary color between vertical bands of black and white.
At the Edge of Things
October 29, 2019
The paintings and drawings by Jo Baer, Mary Corse, and Agnes Martin in “At the Edge of Things” range in date from 1959 to this year, but all are grounded in phenomenology and investigations of borders. Corse has beveled some of her stretcher bars so that the paintings become wall-mounted plinths, extending out to meet the viewer’s gaze. Most of Martin’s vertical graphite lines in Untitled #12, 2002, do not touch the edges of the canvas but fade out near the top and bottom. An arm span of taut cloth becomes an arena for mental projection, as evinced by occasional titles (Gratitude, 2001, and Aspiration, 1960, for example).
Mary Corse at LACMA: Painting Light and Space
August 16, 2019
While her contemporaries moved away from painting, however, increasingly working with sculpture or light tubes, Corse delved deeper into the medium. For her, paintings can exist without either the canvas or paint; a painting is defined not by materials but by an experience of light. This perceptual experience, in turn, is invariably subjective—an idea that occurred to the artist when studying quantum physics, in which we see light as a particle or a wave but never both at the same time. Light enables vision and each individual experiences different visions.
May 20, 2019
My plans for the future are also developing new bodies of work that I’ve always wanted to realize but never had the opportunity to do in the past. The Whitney show is traveling to LACMA this summer and my paintings will be in a three person exhibition with Agnes Martin at my hometown gallery Kayne Griffin Corcoran in LA that I am excited about. Then in November, I’ll have my first solo exhibition at Pace New York. A very fulfilling year!
Object of the Week: White Light Painting (Inner Band Series)
May 17, 2019
A photograph of Mary Corse’s White Light Painting (Inner Band Series) provides an idea at best of the composition of the painting—a large but shallow rectangular support, the canvas neatly stretched over the bars. Three vertical bands, varying slightly in tone with an almost silvery color seen in photographs, stretch from the top to the bottom of the canvas, framed by narrower matte white bands on the right and left margins. The delineations between the center three stripes in the image are blurry, but discernible.
Experiencing White Light Painting (Inner Band Series) is deeper than the experience of looking or simply beholding it—you are apprehended by the painting as you spend time with it, paying attention to it and witnessing its permutations.
15 More Globetrotting Art-World Figures Tell Us About the Best Shows They Saw in 2018: Mary Corse and Dara Friedman
19 December, 2018
In the second of our three-part series (don’t forget to check out part one), a new batch of culturally conscious, world-travelling curators, dealers, scholars, and institutional directors tell us about the best shows and works of art they saw this year, including Mary Corse at the Whitney Museum of American Art and Dara Friedman at PAMM.
Women Land Artists Get Their Day in the Museum
New York Times
November 21, 2018
Mary Corse, whose mostly monochrome, often reflective canvases evoke Minimalism’s more meditative side — are revealing. Corse, who resisted association with the feminist movement, insisted in a 1971 Newsweek article that if her work was good enough, it would get the attention it deserved. This article was recently reprinted in the catalog for her survey at the Whitney Museum of American Art: her first show of this scale, only a few decades delayed. Today, this belief sounds an awful lot like magical thinking, but surely this distancing was motivated by a desire not to be labeled “woman artist,” but simply, artist. Decamping from Los Angeles to the more isolated Topanga Canyon allowed Corse to focus on her work and family — and, perhaps, to avoid having to perform a public role as artist and personality.
Expanded West Bund Art Fair Builds Market Momentum in Shanghai
November 8, 2018
The Los Angeles gallery Kayne Griffin Corcoran decided to bring work by fellow Dia-affiliated Minimalists Mary Corse and James Turrell. Director Beatrice Shen said Turrell had an exhibition at Shanghai’s Long Museum in January 2017 that sparked interest in his work among local collectors.
Mary Corse: A Symposium
Whitney Museum of American Art
Friday, October 12, 2018 | 1-5pm
Floor 3, Susan and John Hess Family Gallery and Theater
This symposium brings together artists, curators, and scholars to discuss Mary Corse’s work and her innovative engagements with the medium of painting. Topics to be considered include: materials and luminosity, contingency and vision, and new perspectives on artistic practices of the 1960s and 70s.
The program is co-organized by the Whitney and Dia Art Foundation and planned in conjunction with the concurrent presentations of Corse's work.
Session 1: Paint and Painting, 1–2:15 pm | Session 2: Considering the 1960s, 2:30–3:45 pm | Session 3: Light and Seeing, 4–5:15 pm | Reception , 5:30 pm
Mary Corse: 24 Art Exhibitions to View in N.Y.C. This Weekend
New York Times
October 4, 2018
‘MARY CORSE’ at Dia:Beacon in Beacon, N.Y., and ‘MARY CORSE: A SURVEY IN LIGHT’ at the Whitney Museum of American Art (through Nov. 25). Light, and specifically the radiant light of Los Angeles, shaped Ms. Corse’s career. She became interested not just in representing light, but also in making objects that emitted or reflected it. This duo of shows features her light boxes — or “light paintings” — made with argon gas and Tesla coils, as well as her paintings on canvas that include glass microspheres, like those used in the lines that divide highway lanes. Both shows are overdue representations for Ms. Corse, who was an early member of the loosely defined Light and Space movement of the 1960s and ’70s in California.
Mary Corse: Three exhibitions to see in New York this weekend
The Art Newspaper
October 4, 2018
The brilliant interplay of light, texture, material and technology in the work of the Light and Space artist Mary Corse can only be fully appreciated in person. The Whitney Museum of American Art has given the 72-year-old her first solo museum retrospective, Mary Corse: a Survey in Light (until 25 November). It highlights key moments of experimentation across five decades, such as light boxes, which Corse began to make in 1966. Two years later, the artist was able to make these works free and floating, after she took physics classes and developed a technique to power and ionise the argon gas in neon tubes using Tesla coils. In the 1960s, she also began to experiment with utilitarian glass microspheres, more commonly used on roadways, to harness and refract light on the surface of her paintings, which she still uses today, applied over white paint in wide vertical bands. A painting might look perfectly flat and monochrome from one angle, but from another, the microbeads light up in alternating stripes that show the swooping brushstrokes.
Mary Corse: What Happens When a Single Art Project Becomes a Decades-Long Obsession?
New York Times Style Magazine
September 18, 2018
Consider the Los Angeles-based light artist Mary Corse, 73, who since the 1960s has worked largely without the acclaim granted her male peers, including Turrell and Dan Flavin (though that recently has changed with her first solo museum survey at the Whitney and a new permanent Dia: Beacon exhibition of several works). The Tet Offensive was barely over and students were storming the Democratic National Convention in Chicago when she began “The Cold Room” (1968-2017), an immersive environment in which a wireless light box hangs in temperatures chilled to near freezing — the better to focus the viewer’s mind on the light itself.
Mary Corse: The Luminous Effects of a Light and Space Painter
August 23, 2018
Mary Corse: A Survey in Light at the Whitney Museum is the first sustained look offered by a New York museum at a California painter who, until recently, lacked the consideration warranted by her unique painterly commitment to the Light and Space movement. Corse’s active presence in the movement’s seminal late 1960s exhibitions, and her career-long focus on light as a subject, should have netted her full recognition as a contributor, yet her position in the group grew marginal. As recently as 2011, her exclusion in a 250-page coffee table publication called The Art of Light and Space was briefly addressed by author Jan Butterfield as having to do with her choice to remain a painter, “rather than an artist concerned with room environments.” (That Bruce Nauman’s dabbling in light effects received full attention in Butterfield’s book challenges the wisdom of this logic.)
Mary Corse: A Survey in Light
The New Yorker
August 6, 2018
In 1968, while driving in Malibu at night, Corse realized that the reflective glass microspheres used to paint lines on roads held untapped potential, and the tiny beads became the defining material of her career-spanning “White Light” series: big color-field paintings that appear to morph with the slightest shift of vantage point, their brushstrokes emerging and disappearing in satiny expanses that abut crisp panels of matte acrylic paint. These shimmering works are impossible to capture in photographs—a breathtaking antidote to Instagram bait.
The Painter Mary Corse Is Having a Late-Career Market Moment. How She’s Handling It Offers 5 Lessons for Other Artists
July 27, 2018
In a previous interview, Corse emphasized that she “never saw art as a career,” and that she “always painted for [her] sanity.” Now, at age 73, the market is coming around to her regardless—and in a big way, as proven in this week’s news that Pace will represent her in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Seoul. Similar to the international arrangement announced between Corse and Lisson Gallery in London last year, Pace will work with her in collaboration with Los Angeles gallery Kayne Griffin Corcoran
Mary Corse: Leading Light
July/ August 2018
I am standing in Mary Corse’s studio, a large white box with a sloping flat roof that she built two years ago beside her home in Topanga Canyon, just a few minutes north of Santa Monica. She has lived on the same secluded property, first with her two sons and now alone, since 1970. One side of the studio is given over almost entirely to sliding glass doors which frame a stunning view of the Santa Monica mountains, green with chaparral and live oaks, with ochre rocks jutting in between.
Mary Corse: A Survey in Light
The Brooklyn Rail
July 11, 2018
While Minimal artists abandoned painting, finding the category too restrictive, Corse believed the medium could be expanded beyond the flat canvas. One of the most fascinating aspects of Corse’s practice is her refusal to confine the medium of painting to a specific material base. She considers all her works paintings, from her shaped canvases, to three-dimensional constructions, to electric light boxes, to clay tiles, defining painting as any work that generates an optical experience of light.
Mary Corse and Dorothea Rockburne get their due at Dia: Beacon
The Art Newspaper
June 13, 2018
“What was wrong with people back then?” the artist Joan Jonas said. “Couldn’t anyone see?” The multimedia pioneer was at Dia: Beacon and talking about 1968, the date on a transfixing, white-light sculpture by Mary Corse. How had such a radiant work stayed under the art world radar for so long?
Innovative Light and Space Artist Mary Corse Is Finally Getting the Exhibitions She Deserves
June 7, 2018
Corse’s paintings and sculptures adopt infinite permutations as one stands in front of them. At a particular moment, from a specific position, the viewer sees a unique configuration of brightened and flattened patches. Looking becomes a deeply individual, meditative experience that generates ideas about acceptance, change, and the fleeting nature of all things.
Mary Corse: The Californian Artist Posing Questions of Light and Space
June 6, 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 contrasted with her Light and Space peers. “I’m not a landscape artist, the literal aspects of the environment don’t influence me,” says Corse. “I’m not influenced by the outside world at all, really. I would paint the same in New York as California. It’s an internal impulse to paint the way that I do.”
Mary Corse’s First Solo Show at the Whitney
May 15, 2018
“A Survey in Light” is Mary Corse’s first solo museum survey, which arrives at the Whitney Museum of American Art on June 8, 2018. The curious works pay tribute to the artist’s studies in physics but also her enormous talent as an artist. Works from throughout Corse’s career feature in the exhibition that runs until November 25, 2018.
Mary Corse at the Whitney Museum of American Art
June 8 - November 25, 2018
The survey will bring together for the first time Corse’s key bodies of work—including her early shaped canvases, freestanding sculptures, and light encasements that she engineered in the mid-1960s, in her early twenties, as well as her breakthrough White Light paintings, begun in 1968, and the Black Earth series that she initiated after moving in 1970 from downtown Los Angeles to Topanga Canyon, where she lives and works today.
How The Light Gets In: Mary Corse Gets Her Dues
Art Agency, Partners
May 10, 2018
Corse has been fixated with imbuing art with light since she was a student in the 1960s, a quest that has caused her to study quantum physics as well as pioneer new forms and media in art-making. Regardless, she has never been the subject of a major solo show—until now.
Mary Corse: 12 Things to See in New York This Week
May 7, 2018
It's rare for an artist to receive her first solo museum show 50 years after accepting her BFA. It’s nearly unheard of for such an artist’s first two solo museum shows to open within a month of one another, at two of the most august institutions in New York. But that’s the story with Mary Corse. The first of her long-deserved twin openings happened yesterday at Dia :Beacon , where eight works by Corse are now on long-term view until at least 2021. Although the pieces range from her signature paintings embedded with light-refracting glass microspheres to shimmering clay tiles fired in an enormous kiln designed and built by the artist in the 1970s, the exhibition shows the surprising diversity in Corse’s mission to, in her words, "put the light in the painting"—and welcome viewers into an active conversation with the mysteries of their own perceptions.
Mary Corse: Previews
Given Mary Corse’s consistent, multi-decade creative output, this museum survey, the artist’s first, is “long overdue”—really a tired euphemism for the consequences of exclusionary gender politics (and a belated apotheosis of art from the Southland, and not just, though especially, for women). The exhibition promises to assemble exemplars from her early shaped canvases, freestanding sculptures, and light encasements made with Tesla-coil-based generators of Corse’s own design, as well as of the nontechnological but still perceptually fugitive White Light paintings, begun in 1968, and the Black Earth works that she started after moving from downtown Los Angeles to Topanga Canyon in 1970. This exhibition will showcase Corse’s experiments with the legacies of modernist painting, but will also foreground her use of decidedly unconventional materials (e.g., metallic flakes and glass microspheres) to open modernism’s often-hermetic surfaces to place, light, time, and possibility.
Quantum leap for Mary Corse as clutch of shows brings overdue recognition
The Art Newspaper
May 4, 2018
The Whitney retrospective will highlight Corse’s key moments of experimentation across five decades. “It’s tightly focused on when she comes upon a new material or new structure that helps her play out her ideas of light and how one might find light inside the canvas,” says Kim Conaty, the exhibition’s curator.
With Three New Shows, Artist Mary Corse is Finally Having Her Moment
Wall Street Journal
May 1, 2018
About Corse’s career, Turrell, a friend, is blunt in calling out the challenges posed by gender bias, then and now. “It took her a lot longer because she’s a woman,” he says. “But she was the most interesting artist out there.” The possible impact of gender on her career is not a topic Corse likes to address, but then again, she’s not a big talker. Corse is an authentically Western personality, more about action than chat. As she herself said in the 1968 short film White Light, which documents her heyday as a young, groovy woman in a mostly male milieu, “Words are very difficult.”
The Whitney To Present The First Museum Survey Of the Work Of Mary Corse
The Whitney Museum
April 6, 2018
This June, the Whitney Museum of American Art will debut Mary Corse: A Sruvey in Light, the first museum survey devoted to the work of Mary Corse (born 1945, Berkelely, CA; lives and works in Topanga, CA). One of the few women associated with the West Coast Light and Space movement of the 1960's, Corse shared with her contemporary a deep fascination with perception and with the possiblity that light itself could serve as both a subject and material of art.
Mary Corse: Collector Chases Painting Around World After Seeing Just a Photo
March 8, 2018
Corse treats light as a subject and material of her paintings, activating them by using refractive glass microspheres that are common in highway paint. The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York will stage Corse’s first solo museum survey in June. The artist’s paintings from the 1960s to the present will be on display starting in May at Dia Art Foundation in Beacon, New York.
Mary Corse: What Sold at The Armory Show
March 11, 2018
Despite coinciding with the London auctions, TEFAF Maastricht, and a snow storm, the 24th edition of The Armory Show still proved a success for many dealers, highlighting the continued importance of American collectors in the art market.
Mary Corse: The Long Overlooked Female Artists Suddenly Getting Market Attention
March 13, 2018
One buyer, Thomas Yamamoto, even hopped a flight from Shanghai to New York early to peep a painting in person that he’d bought after seeing just a photo of it. The work in question is a fetching white monochrome from 2011 by Mary Corse, a foundational figure in the male-dominated Light and Space movement started in 1960s Los Angeles.
Mary Corse: 30 Must-See Artists at the Armory Show
The New York Times
March 8, 2018
Mary Corse’s works with glittering highway paint at Kayne Griffin Corcoran (502), a run-up to shows at Dia:Beacon and at the Whitney Museum of American Art
Spotlight On Mary Corse
“Mary’s work eschews easy categorization,” says Alexis Lowry, an associate curator at Dia. “As early as 1966, she was making light-based work that was as advanced as anything by more recognizable figures like Doug Wheeler or James Turrell. But she was also radically different, using paint to harness light and make space within her paintings that extends beyond the physical.”
Mary Corse’s first solo museum survey upcoming at the Whitney
December 13, 2017
The first solo museum survey of distinguished Californian artist Mary Corse is featuring at the Whitney Museum, as it announces its “New Exhibitions on the Horizon for 2018”. The show opens in New York next year and will explore the expansive and unique works that Corse has created throughout her career.
Mary Corse at Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
December 5, 2017 – April 15, 2018
The point of departure of Art and Space is the collaboration between Basque sculptor Eduardo Chillida and German philosopher Martin Heidegger in 1969, which resulted in the publication of an artist book whose title inspired that of this exhibition.