March 1, 2015


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Lot 95: Mary Corse

Lot 95: Mary Corse

Untitled (White, Black, Blue Double Arch)

Acrylic and glass microspheres on canvas
Signed and dated in black felt-tip marker verso
Canvas: 63" x 76.5"
Together with copy of receipt from the artist
Provenance: Private Collection, Los Angeles, California (acquired directly from the artist, 2000)
Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000
Price Realized: $81,250
Inventory Id: 17994

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A leading female figure of the Light and Space movement in the 1960s, painter Mary Corse developed her own methods of capturing fluctuating light and its changing perspectives, creating dynamic surfaces in her structurally minimalist paintings. A lifelong Californian, she was born in Berkeley, gained her Master's degree from the Chouinard Art Institute (now the California Institute of the Arts and the alma mater of fellow artists Larry Bell and Robert Irwin), then built her studio in the Topanga Canyon. In 1968, after working on a series that housed fluorescent lightbulbs in Plexiglas cases, Corse mixed small glass beads, "microspheres, "directly into the paint before brushing it onto the prepared canvas. This technique achieved a unique prism-like effect. Corse explains: " … my paintings are not reflective! [ …] They create a prism that brings the surface into view. I like that because it brings the viewer into the light as well."

Corse "brings the viewer into the light" in Untitled (White, Black, Blue Double Arch) (2000) by using the dramatic contrast of light and dark and its subsequent push and pull. The deep blue and black fields of color act as doorways into recessive space, while the white, glassy, prismatic boundary creates the perception of floating and light. In Corse's paintings, the light is as much a tool as are the canvas, the paint, or the paintbrush: "For me painting has never been about the paint, but what the painting does. I didn't want to make a picture of light; I wanted to put the actual light in the painting… "

New paintings in recent solo exhibitions (2012 and 2015) at the Lehmann Maupin gallery in New York resulted in much critical acclaim. Mary Corse's work can be found in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; MOCA, Los Angeles; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; and the Guggenheim Museum, New York.

Wyma, Chloe. "19 Questions for Light and Space Artist Mary Corse." Blouin ARTINFO. Louise Blouin Media, 2 Dec. 2014. Web. Yablonsky, Linda. "Artifacts: Mary Corse." T Magazine The New York Times Company, 24 Feb. 2012. Web. 2 Dec. 2014.