Mary Corse (American, b.1945) objected to being labeled as a “California artist” despite her origins and tenure there. She received a BFA from the University of California in 1963 and an MFA from the Chouinard Art Institute in 1968. Drawing inspiration from the abstractions, color theories, and compositions of well-known artists such as Wassily Kandinsky and Josef Albers, Corse bridged the media of painting and sculpture.

In the mid-1960s, she gained recognition for what would become her signature work, which included shaped canvases, fluorescent lights, glass microspheres, and Plexiglas. She pushed the material of glass microsphere further, blending it with shades of white acrylic paint. The result was a glimmering canvas responsive to changing light conditions. These particular light effects included in her works are nearly impossible to photograph, as they change with each viewing angle.

Her works are in many permanent collections, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Foundation Beyeler, the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation Collection, the Orange County Museum of Art at Newport Beach, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Getty Museum.

Timeline

1945
Born Berkeley, California
1963
BFA, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
1968
MFA, Chouinard Art Institute, Los Angeles, CA

Exhibitions

2009–2010
COLLECTION: MOCA’S FIRST 30 YEARS, MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, LOS ANGELES, CA
2009–2010
PRIMARY FORMS-ANNENBERG FOUNDATION ACQUISITIONS, MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART SAN DIEGO, SAN DIEGO, CA
2008
SO CAL: SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ART OF THE 1960S AND 70S FROM LACMA'S COLLECTION, LOS ANGLES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART
2006
Ace Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA (solo)
2003
Ace Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA (solo)
2003
WHITE, GALERIE BEYELER, BASEL SWITZERLAND
2001
Ace Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
Ameringer Howard Gallery, Boca Raton, FL (solo)
2000
Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna, CA (solo)
1999
DENNIS OCHI GALLERY, SUN VALLEY, ID (solo)
1999
SAN JOSE MUSEUM OF ART, SAN JOSE, SAN JOSE, CA
POWDER, CURATED BY FRANCESCO BONAMI, ASPEN MUSEUM OF ART, ASPEN, CO
1998
DENNIS OCHI GALLERY, SUN VALLEY, ID (solo)
CHAC-MOOL GALLERY, BEVERLY HILLS, CA (solo)
1997
CHAC-MOOL GALLERY, BEVERLY HILLS, CA (solo)
1995–1996
ACE GALLERY NEW YORK, NEW YORK (solo)
1995
"ABSTRACTION FROM TWO COASTS," DOUGLAS LAWING GALLERY, HOUSTON, TX (catalogue)
1994–1995
ACE CONTEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (solo)
1994
"PLANE/STRUCTURES," OTIS GALLERY, OTIS COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (CURATED BY DAVID PAGEL) (catalogue)
"SELECTIONS FROM THE PERMANENT COLLECTION," MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, LOS ANGELES, CA
1993
"PHYSICAL ABSTRACTION," BLUM HELMAN GALLERY, NEW YORK, NY
1992
"THE NEW PHYSICAL ABSTRACTION IN LOS ANGELES," ACE CONTEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
1990
"PHYSICAL ABSTRACTION/PAINTING 1990," ACE CONTEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
"MINIMAL 1960-90, LOS ANGELES," CIRRUS GALLERY, LOS ANGELES,CA
1990–1989
"PERCEPTUAL INVESTIGATIONS: LIGHT AND SPACE WORKS IN THE PERMANENT COLLECTION", THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
1989
"PERMANENT COLLECTION EXHIBITION," LA JOLLA MUSEUM OF ART, LA JOLLA, CALIFORNIA
"13 LOS ANGELES PAINTERS," SENA GALLERIES WEST, SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO
1988
MUNICIPAL ART GALLERY, BARNSDALL ART PARK, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
MARC RICHARDS GALLERY, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
"VISUAL SILENCES," MARC RICHARDS GALLERY, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
"PERMANENT COLLECTION EXHIBITION," MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
1987–1988
ACE CONTEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (solo)
1987
"PERMANENT COLLECTION EXHIBITION," NEWPORT HARBOR ART MUSEUM, NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA
1986
FLOW ACE GALLERY, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (solo)
1985
"NINE ARTISTS," MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (CATALOGUE)
"IMAGINE THERE'S A FUTURE: A CELEBRATION OF LIFE," JAPANESE-AMERICAN CULTURAL CENTER, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
1983
"NEW ACQUISITIONS: THE MENIL COLLECTION," RICE MUSEUM, RICE UNIVERSITY, HOUSTON, TEXAS
"YOUNG TALENT AWARDS: 1963-1983," LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (CATALOGUE)
1983
JANUS GALLERY, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (solo)
1981
THE CLOCKTOWER, NEW YORK, NEW YORK (solo)
1981
"DECADE: LOS ANGELES PAINTING OF THE SEVENTIES," ART CENTER COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN, PASADENA, CALIFORNIA (CATALOGUE)
1980
"IN THE CONSTRUCTIVIST SPIRIT," JANUS GALLERY, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
"JANUS IN SAN DIEGO," SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY, SAN DIEGO,CALIFORNIA
"GROUP EXHIBITION," L.A. LOUVER GALLERY, VENICE, CALIFORNIA
1979
JANUS GALLERY, VENICE, CALIFORNIA (solo)
1979
"EXPLORATION IN DRAWING," JANUS GALLERY, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
1976
"THE LIBERATION: FOURTEEN AMERICAN ARTISTS," THE CORCORAN GALLERY OF ART, WASHINGTON DC; EXHIBITION TRAVELED THROUGH EUROPE (CATALOGUE)
"THE MANY ARTS OF SCIENCE," BAXTER GALLERY, CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, PASADENA, CALIFORNIA
1975
RICHARD BELLAMY GALLERY, NEW YORK, NEW YORK (solo)
1974
"GROUP EXHIBITION," RICHARD BELLAMY GALLERY, NEW YORK, NEW YORK
"L.A. SIX," LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
1973
"ART & THINGS: PAINTING IN THE 60'S," UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, AUSTIN, TEXAS
1972
"THE MR. & MRS. BURTON TREMAINE COLLECTION," SANTA BARBARA MUSEUM OF ART, SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA
"THE MICHENER COLLECTION: AMERICAN PAINTINGS OF THE 20TH CENTURY," UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, AUSTIN, TEXAS
"FIFTEEN LOS ANGELES ARTISTS," PASADENA ART MUSEUM, PASADENA, CALIFORNIA (CATALOGUE)
"TWELVE STATEMENTS BEYOND THE 60'S," DETROIT INSTITUTE OF THE ARTS, DETROIT, MICHIGAN (CATALOGUE)
"GROUP EXHIBITION," CARL SOLWAY GALLERY, CINCINNATI, OHIO
1972
JOE LO GUIDICE GALLERY, NEW YORK, NEW YORK (solo)
1971
"TEN YOUNG ARTISTS: THEODORAN AWARDS," SOLOMON R. GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM, NEW YORK, NEW YORK (CATALOGUE)
"TWENTY FOUR YOUNG LOS ANGELES ARTISTS," LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
1970
"1970 ANNUAL EXHIBITION: CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN SCULPTURE," WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART, NEW YORK, NEW YORK (CATALOGUE)
"PERMUTATIONS, LIGHT AND COLOR," MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
"LOOKING WEST," JOSLYN ART MUSEUM, OMAHA, NEBRASKA
"YOUNG ARTISTS, NEW WORK," LOSKSLEY-SHEA GALLERY, MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA
1969
"ELECTRIC ART," UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA ART GALLERIES, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
1968
"THE WEST COAST NOW: CURRENT WORK FROM THE WESTERN SEABOARD," PORTLAND ART MUSEUM, PORTLAND, OREGON;TRAVELED TO SEATTLE ART MUSEUM, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON;MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA; ANDLOS ANGELES COUNTY ART MUSEUM, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (CATALOGUE)