After receiving early acclaim in the 1960s for pieces ranging from shaped-canvas paintings to ingeniously designed light works, Mary Corse has dedicated the succeeding decades to quietly yet steadily establishing a unique practice at the crossroads of Abstract Expressionism and American Minimalism.

Despite her now-frequent association with California’s Light and Space movement, Corse evolved independent of the region’s dominant personalities, philosophies, and scenes. Instead, she has pursued her vision almost entirely on the periphery of the art-world spotlight. As a result, her more than 50-year commitment to her craft has been nearly as unheralded as it has been relentless and groundbreaking.

Corse’s highly refined vocabulary synergizes traits normally thought to be irreconcilable: gestural brushstrokes reminiscent of early influences like Willem de Kooning; precise geometric compositions evoking Josef Albers, often featuring the vertical band as he featured the square; and a palette reduced through Donald Judd-like discipline to white, black, and the primary colors.

Yet these characteristics take on an exceptional quality through Corse’s innovative handling of materials that both capture and refract light, insuring that our perceptions of her paintings change as the lighting shifts or we move about the space. These techniques enable Corse to create a dynamic interplay between her pieces and the viewer.

From one viewing position, a single Corse painting may appear to be a monochromatic, matt-finish canvas, executed with a degree of precision that suggests industrial fabrication. But from a slightly different viewing position, the same piece may abruptly shift identities, revealing a composition of various bands in subtly different shades, a glittering texture that radiates light, and lively signs of the artist’s hand. Through this visual push and pull, Corse makes the inherent abstractness of human perception felt instead of merely seen.

Mary Corse was born in Berkeley in 1945 and earned her BFA 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 J. Paul 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, an official collateral exhibition of the 54th Venice Biennale.

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 Theodoron Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and the Cartier Foundation Award. She lives and works in Los Angeles.

Born in 1945 Berkeley, CA. Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

EDUCATION

1968                         
BFA, Chouinard Art Institute, Los Angeles, CA 

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2018
Mary Corse: A Survey in Light, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY 
Mary Corse, Dia: Beacon, Beacon, NY 
Mary Corse, Lisson Gallery, London, UK 
Landscapes After Ruskin: Redefining the Sublime, curated by Joel Sternfeld, Grey Art Gallery, New York University, New York, NY


2017                      
Art and Space, Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain 
Then and Now, Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles, CA
Deadeye Dick: Richard Bellamy and His Circle, Peter Freeman, Inc, New York, NY
Mary Corse, Lehmann Maupin, New York, NY
California Dreaming: Selections from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Malibu, CA 
Abstraction: Stories Told in Shape, Color, and Form, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Plastic Show, Almine Rech Gallery, London, UK

2016                         
Material Considerations, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Landscapes After Ruskin: Redefining the Sublime, curated by Joel Sternfeld, Hall Art Foundation, Reading, Vermont
Radical Materiality, Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong

2015                         
Light and Space, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA
Mary Corse, Lehmann Maupin, New York, NY
Elemental: Seeing the Light, Sturt Haaga Gallery, Descanso Gardens, La Cañada Flintridge, CA
Paths and Edges: Celebrating the Five-Year Anniversary of the Escalatte Collection, Guggenheim Gallery at Chapman University, Orange, CA (cat.)
Geometric Obsession: American School 1965-2015, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Buenos Aires, Argentina (cat.)

2014                         
Reductive Minimalism, University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, MI

2013                         
Mary Corse, Teresita Fernández, Maya Lin, Lehmann Maupin, New York, NY
Set Pieces, Cardi Black Box, Milan, Italy
Nine from L.A., Wright Exhibition Space, Seattle, WA

2012        
Current Paintings, Ace Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
New Work, Lehmann Maupin, New York, NY
Polarized Space: Corse, McCracken, McLaughlin, Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York, NY
I Followed You Into the Water, Lehmann Maupin, New York, NY

2011                          
Surface, Support, Process: The 1960s Monochrome in the Guggenheim Collection, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Inside the White Cube, White Cube Gallery, Bermondsey, London, UK (cat.)
Phenomenal: California Light and Space, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, CA (cat.)
Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting And Sculpture, 1950-1970, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany
Venice in Venice, Collateral Exhibition in Association with the J. Paul Getty Museum, 54th Venice Biennale, Italy
What’s New, Pussycat?,  curated by Tim Nye and Max Presneill, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA (cat.)
Color Field Paintings and Related Abstractions Revisited, Wright Exhibition Space, Seattle, WA
New Out West – Peter Alexander, Mary Corse, Robert Irwin, Quint Contemporary, San Diego, CA
Mary Corse: Recent Paintings, Ace Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA

2010
Bing’s Choice, Wright Exhibition Space, Seattle, WA

2009                        
Collection: MOCA’s First 30 Years, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
Primary Forms-Annenberg Foundation Acquisitions, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, CA
Mary Corse, Ace Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA

2008                        
So Cal: Southern California Art of the 1960s and 70s from LACMA's Collection, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA

2006                        
Mary Corse: Paintings, Light Paintings, Sculpture and Graphics from the Sixties, Ace Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA
High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting 1967-1975, Organized by Independent Curators International, New York, NY (cat.)

2004
Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated): Art from 1951 to the Present, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY (cat.)

2003                        
The Spirit of White, Galerie Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland (cat.)
Mary Corse, Ace Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA
3 Degrees of Cool, Wright Exhibitions Space, Seattle, WA

2001                         
Mary Corse, Ace Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
California Art from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation: 10th Anniversary Exhibition, Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA

2000
Mary Corse, Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA
Mary Corse: New Paintings, Ameringer/Howard Fine Art, Boca Raton, FL

1999                        
Powder, Curated by Julia Graham and Maria Friedrich, Aspen Art Museum, CO (cat.)
Southern California Art: 1969-1974, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA
Material Issues: Recent Gifts from the Collection of Katherine and James Gentry, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA
Mary Corse, Ochi Fine Art, Ketchum, ID

1998
Mary Corse: Recent Painting, Ochi Fine Art, Ketchum, ID
Thinking about Old Friends: An Exhibition of Paintings Dedicated to Richard Bellamy, Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati, OH

1997
Permanent Collection Installation, Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, CA
Mary Corse, Chac Mool Gallery, West Hollywood, CA
Elusive Paradise: Los Angeles Art from the Permanent Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA

1996
Mary Corse, Ace Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA
Color Fields: Selections from the Permanent Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA

1995                         
Mary Corse: Survey 1964 – 1994, Ace Gallery, New York, NY
Abstraction from Two Coasts, Lawing Gallery, Houston, TX (cat.)
Images of an Era: Selections from the Permanent Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA

1994                         
Selections from the Permanent Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
Plane/Structures, Otis Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA
Mary Corse: Survey 1964 – 1994, Ace Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA

1993                         
Let's Get Physical: Physical Abstraction from L.A., Blum-Helman Gallery, New York, NY

1992                         
The New Physical Abstraction in Los Angeles, Ace Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA

1991
California Window, Part II, Memory’s Gallery, Nagoya, Japan

1990                        
Physical Abstraction/Painting 1990, Ace Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA
Minimal 1960-90, Los Angeles, Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
13 Los Angeles Painters, Sena Galleries West, Santa Fe, NM
Perceptual Investigations: Light and Space Works in the Permanent Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA

1989                         
Constructing a History: A Focus on MOCA’s Permanent Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA

1988                         
Permanent Collection Exhibition, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
Selections from the Permanent Collection I, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA
Visual Silences, Marc Richards Gallery, Los Angeles
One of a Kind: Contemporary Serial Imagery, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1987                         
Ace Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA
Mary Corse, Ace Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA
Highlights of California Art since 1945: A Collecting Partnership, Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, CA

1986                         
Mary Corse, Flow Ace Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1985                         
Nine Artists, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
Imagine There’s a Future: A Celebration of Life, organized by Hollywood Women’s Coalition in association with the Interfaith Center to Reverse the Arms Race, Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, Los Angeles, CA

1983                         
New Acquisitions: The Menil Collection, Rice University Museum, Houston, TX
Young Talent Awards: 1963-1983, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Janus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1981                          
Mary Corse, The Clocktower, New York, NY
Decade: Los Angeles Painting in the Seventies, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA
Mary Corse, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, NY

1980                         
In the Constructivist Spirit, Janus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Group Show: Summer Exhibition Part I, L.A. Louver Gallery, Venice, CA
Janus in San Diego, University Art Galleries, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA

1979                         
Earth Paintings, Janus Gallery, Venice, CA

1978
Exploration in Drawing, Janus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Figure and Form 1960-70: Selections from the Michener Collection, Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX

1976                         
The Liberation: Fourteen American Artists, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
The Many Arts of Science,  Baxter Art Gallery, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA

1975                         
Mary Corse, Richard Bellamy Gallery, New York, NY

1974                         
Group Exhibition, Richard Bellamy Gallery, New York, NY
LA Six, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA

1973                         
Art & Things: Painting in the 60s, Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX

1972                         
Fifteen Los Angeles Artists, Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena, CA
Twelve Statements Beyond the 60s, Detroit Institute of the Arts, MI
Paintings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Burton G. Tremaine, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA
Mary Corse, Joe LoGiudice Gallery, New York
The Michener Collection: American Paintings of the Twentieth Century, Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX
Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati, OH

1971                          
Ten Young Artists: Theodoran Awards, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Twenty-Four Young Los Angeles Artists, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA

1970                         
1970 Annual Exhibition: Contemporary American Sculpture, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Permutations, Light and Color, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
Young Artists, New Work, Locksley Shea Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
Looking West 1970,  Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE (cat.)

1969                     
Electric Art, UCLA Art Galleries, Los Angeles, CA (cat.)

1968                         
The West Coast Now: Current Work from the Western Seaboard, Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA 

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, TX
Chapman University, Orange, CA
Dia Art Foundation, New York, NY
Fondation Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland

Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles, CA
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA

The Menil Collection, Houston, TX

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA
National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL
Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA
Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA
Seattle Art Museum, WA

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY