Kayne Griffin Corcoran is pleased to present a solo presentation of works by Mary Corse for the 2018 iteration of the Armory Show.
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 compositions and a primarily monochromatic palette. In 1968 she first incorporated glass microspheres into her white monochrome paintings. The material catches the light and provides heightened visibility. These works provide the viewer with a kinetic experience: tones brighten or flatten, painterly brushstrokes appear or disappear as shifting positions and light continuously alter one’s relationship to the surface.
In 1998 color returned to the fore of Corse's practice via her monumental series of Double Arch works. Each painting consisted of a right-angled white arch atop a smaller, similar black arch, which itself sat above a rectangle of color saturated with glass microspheres. Corse has almost invariably preferred to use only one color from the trio in any given painting. She normally teams the featured hue with alternating bands of white and black, thereby intensifying the viewer’s perception through contrast and reduction.
Whatever the palette she deploys in a given piece, each work exists to challenge viewers’ understanding of both their reality and the senses they use to process it. Corse primarily opens our eyes to this lesson through her understanding of light: the way it can shift our perception of an object’s tones, textures, and materiality; the way its interactions with both the surrounding space and the space of the painting itself influence those changes; and the way that time plays the most unsung role in this equation.
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 in the decades since, including such historically significant exhibitions as Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970 at the Getty Museum, Los Angeles, and later traveling to the Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany; Phenomenal: California Light and Space at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; and Venice in Venice, a collateral exhibition of the 54th Venice Biennale. Corse will be subject to two forthcoming solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum and Dia:Beacon, New York.
Corse’s works reside in the permanent collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Menil Collection, Houston; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the J. Paul Getty Museum; and the Fondation Beyeler, Basel, among many others. She is a past recipient of the Guggenheim’s Theodoran Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and the Cartier Foundation Award. She lives and works in Los Angeles.
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