The Whitney Museum of American Art will present Mary Corse: A Survey in Light, the first museum survey devoted to the work of Mary Corse (born 1945, Berkeley, CA; lives and works in Topanga, CA). A spokesperson for The Whitney says, "One of the few women associated with the West Coast Light and Space movement of the 1960s, Corse shared with her contemporaries a deep fascination with perception and with the possibility that light itself could serve as both a subject and material of art. Yet while others largely migrated away from painting into sculptural and environmental projects, Corse approached the question of light through painting."
This exhibit will run at the Whitney from June 8 through November 25 in the eighth-floor Hurst Family Galleries—focusing on key moments of experimentation in Corse’s career. Curators aim to "highlight the ways in which her unique formal and material investigations helped forge a new language of painting".
The exhibition is organized in association with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where it will be on view from July 28 through November 10, 2019. The exhibition unfolds both chronologically and thematically, presenting approximately 25 works dating from the mid-1960s to the present.
Scott Rothkopf, Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, commented: "Corse’s exhibition at the Whitney and installation at Dia will finally position her as the true innovator she has been for more than half a century. Not only did she play a key role in the emergence of the West Coast Light and Space movement, but since then she has persistently developed a body of painting remarkable for its technical experimentation and otherworldly beauty."
Conaty noted: “It’s an exciting moment to recognize Corse’s pioneering achievements, now more than five decades after she began. The experience of her work, which can be both material and immaterial, minimal and maximal, makes us slow down and look, then look again. There is a real magic to the work that is felt, not just seen, and we’re thrilled to offer our visitors the opportunity to discover it.”
The Whitney exhibition begins in 1964, when, following her education in abstract painting as a teen in Berkeley, Corse enrolled at Chouinard Art Institute and moved to downtown Los Angeles. The Whitney says, "There, she dove headlong into a sustained dialogue with painting, questioning its most essential elements and forms—the brushstroke, the edge, the monochrome, the grid—while charting her own course through studies in quantum physics and unconventional 'painting' materials, from fluorescent light and plexiglass to metallic flakes, glass microspheres, and clay. The survey will bring together for the first time Corse’s key bodies of work—including her early shaped canvases, freestanding sculptures, and the light encasements that she engineered between 1966 and 1968, 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 her downtown studio to the rugged hills of Topanga Canyon."
Whitney's announcement continues, "As a focused survey that will introduce Corse’s work to many visitors, this exhibition endeavors to historicize this understudied artist’s career while placing significant attention on the viewing experience in the galleries. Corse’s exquisite works capture the physical and metaphysical qualities of light on a two-dimensional surface and have the power to activate the viewer in the creation of the perceptual experience: the kinetic effect of the work is contingent upon the movement of the body through space. This experiential component of Corse's work will be of paramount importance to the installation."
June 8-November 25, 2018
99 Gansevoort St
New York, NY 10014
Adults - $25
Seniors/Students - $18
18 and Under - Free
Courtesy of The Whitney Museum of American Art and Mary Corse