For the last five decades, Mary Corse has radically explored perception, properties of light, and ideas of abstraction in her work. She has refined her singular vision with an attention to the gestural qualities of painting combined with geometric composition and a primarily monochromatic palette. Her pioneering work has a critical place in the development of abstraction and ideas of perception.
Corse is widely recognized for her innovative painting technique using materials which both capture and refract light. The evanescent quality of her paintings creates a dynamic interplay with the viewer; hues brighten or flatten, painterly brushstrokes appear or disappear as shifts in light and viewing position continuously alter one’s relationship to the work.
For The Armory Show 2017, Kayne Griffin Corcoran presents a selection of Corse’s iconic white paintings along with rarely exhibited works on paper. These works largely feature one of the artist’s defining compositional and conceptual innovations: vertical bands that appear or disappear from view based on one’s position in relation to the painting.
Mary Corse was born in Berkeley in 1945 and earned her MFA from Chouinard Art Institute in 1968. She has shown extensively in the US and abroad, including at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; and the Fondation Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland.
Corse’s work also resides in the permanent collections of numerous renowned institutions both domestic and international. She is a recipient of the Guggenheim’s Theodoran Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and the Cartier Foundation Award. Mary Corse lives and works in Los Angeles.
James Turrell has worked directly with light and space over the last half century to create artworks that engage viewers with the limits and wonder of human perception. Informed by his training in perceptual psychology and a childhood fascination with light, Turrell began experimenting with light as a medium in southern California in the mid-1960’s. Believing human perception to be his true medium, he has said, “My art is about your seeing.”
For The Armory Show 2017 Kayne Griffin Corcoran presents Diamonds (Squares on point) Glass and Small Wide Glass. These works developed from Turrell’s larger group of Tall Glass works, begun in 2006, which were significant for their introduction of a temporal element. Over a two-and-a-half-hour time period the unique compositions sweep through thousands of different color themes. Light gently diffuses across the Glass’s planes, making the light source indeterminable to the eye. Individual colors slowly seep into and play against each other to create vivid combinations that shift over time. These works advance the lineage of abstract art, particularly calling to mind Mark Rothko’s Color Field paintings or Ad Reinhardt’s black paintings, which for Turrell “brought color out of darkness.” In implicating the viewer in the temporal experience of color within the physical and perceptual experience, Turrell turns light into a powerful substance.
James Turrell was born in 1943 in Los Angeles. Since his first solo exhibitions at the Pasadena Art Museum in 1967, the Stedelijk in 1976, and the Whitney Museum in 1980, Turrell has been the subject of over 140 solo exhibitions. His work resides in museum collections worldwide. He has received numerous awards in the arts, including The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1984 and the National Medal of Arts in 2014. Turrell currently resides in Flagstaff, Arizona in order to oversee the completion of his most important work: a monumental land art project at Roden Crater, an extinct volcano the artist has been transforming into a celestial observatory for the past forty years.