Mary Corse, Untitled (White Multiband, Beveled), 2019, glass microspheres in acrylic on canvas, 36" × 120" (91.4 cm × 304.8 cm) © Mary Corse, Courtesy Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Pace Gallery, Lisson

Mary Corse


b. 1945, Berkeley, California

Mary Corse investigates materiality, abstraction, and perception through the subtly gestural and precisely geometric paintings that she has made over her fifty-year career.

Earning a BFA in 1968 from Chouinard Art Institute, Los Angeles, Corse developed her initial work during the emergence of the Light and Space movement in Southern California. Throughout the 1960s, she experimented with unconventional media and supports, producing shaped canvases, works with plexiglass, and illuminated boxes. In 1968, Corse discovered glass microspheres, an industrial material used in street signs and dividing lines on highways. Combining these tiny refractive beads with acrylic paint, she creates paintings that appear to radiate light from within and produce shifts in appearance contingent on their surroundings and the viewer’s position. Corse’s art emphasizes the abstract nature of human perception, expanding beyond the visual to include subtleties of feeling and awareness.

Corse’s work has been included in historically significant group exhibitions, including Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A., Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970 at The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (2011); and Phenomenal: California Light and Space at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (2011). In 2018, the Whitney Museum of American Art organized the solo exhibition A Survey in Light. Her work is held in numerous public collections worldwide, including Fondation Beyeler, Basel; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; The Menil Collection, Houston; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others. 


Mary Corse, Untitled (Black Earth), 1978, fired earth clay tile, 23" × 23" (58.4 cm × 58.4 cm) © Mary Corse, Courtesy Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Pace Gallery, Lisson


Mary Corse, Untitled (Electric Light), 1968/2018, argon, Plexiglas, high-frequency generator, light tubes, monofilament, 61-1/8" × 11-1/4" × 8" (155.3 cm × 28.6 cm × 20.3 cm, overall installed © Mary Corse, Courtesy Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Pace Gallery, Lisson