Corse_The Cold Room Rendering

Frieze Masters

Mary Corse: The Cold Room

Oct 12 – Oct 16, 2022
Art Fair Details:

Frieze Masters
Regent's Park
Booth S14
Oct 12 – 16, 2022


Press Release


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Above: Mary Corse, The Cold Room, 1968/2022, digital rendering © Mary Corse

Pace Gallery is delighted to announce a solo presentation of pioneering artist Mary Corse for the 2022 edition of Frieze Masters.

Returning to the esteemed fair for the first time in four years, Pace’s booth will showcase Mary Corse’s The Cold Room (1968/2022) an iteration of which was conceived in 1968 and first realized nearly 50 years later in 2017 in California. Frieze Masters 2022 marks the European debut of Corse’s second Cold Room.

At the core of Mary Corse’s practice is a fascination with the subjective nature of perception, the recognition that no two people experience the same visual phenomena. This investigation, which has propelled Corse’s artistic career for more than 50 years, was sparked by the artist’s early study of physics and the phenomenological concepts of perception and non-linearity. In 1968, the same year Corse began creating The Cold Room, the artist started incorporating glass microspheres into her practice. These small particles, typically used along highways to reflect light at night-time, have become the artist’s signature motif. Incorporating microspheres into her painting practice has allowed Corse to use light as both subject matter and medium. In so doing, light functions as a vehicle for the artist’s pioneering, experiential work that exists in the intersection of science, art, and perception.

The Cold Room brings Corse’s iconic work into three-dimensions, inviting visitors into a full body, multisensorial experience. As the visitor moves around the exterior of the cube structure, a spectrum of white light is refracted from the walls as the hand-painted microspheres glow, darken, and glint in turn. Each individual’s experience is unique as light shimmers across the carefully constructed composition, allowing Corse to experiment with the notion of spatial plane, volume, and depth.

As the title suggests, the interior of the installation is kept just above freezing temperature, creating a drastic environmental shift that heightens perception and consciousness as visitors enter the space. Within the structure Corse suspends a light box powered by a high-frequency generator that appears to hover in the enigmatic space. Corse creates an active dialogue between viewer, installation, and light. The Cold Room depends on this three-way exchange to be fully realized. It is everchanging; no two viewings are ever the same. As Corse states, "The art is not on the wall, it’s in the viewer's perception."

For Corse, pure white light contains the breadth of the color spectrum, it is “the sum of all colors”, indicating a boundless expansion that reaches far beyond the artworks’ confines. The Cold Room is a masterful, rarely seen example of Mary Corse’s life-long dedication to perception through painting with light.



Mary Corse:
The Cold Room

In our latest film, pioneering artist Mary Corse discusses the process and inspiration behind The Cold Room, which will make its European debut in our 2022 Frieze Masters booth in London with a brand new iteration.

Mary Corse, The Cold Room, 1968/2022, Glass microspheres in acrylic on powder coated aluminum, Argon, Plexiglas, high-frequency generator, light tubes, monofilament, and refrigeration panels, Light work: 49.5' × 49.5' × 6.25' (1,508.8 cm × 1,508.8 cm × 190.5 cm) Installed: 144" × 144" × 144" (365.8 cm × 365.8 cm × 365.8 cm)