Untitled (Black White Inner Band, Beveled)
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  • In Short

    Untitled (Black White Inner Band, Beveled), 2006, synthesizes decades of Mary Corse’s pioneering Light and Space research into a perfectly balanced composition. What at first glance appears to be a minimalist composition of white and black stripes reveals itself to be a constantly changing field of pure light, varying in intensity with fluctuations in the work’s illumination and the viewer’s positioning. It is the central band of white acrylic and reflective glass microspheres that here achieves Corse’s signature goal of embodying light into painting, the luminous effect of its materials balanced by the two bold black stripes on either end. While the outer white bands initially seem identical to the bold central column, they gradually reveal a perceptual difference as one moves around the work, with the viewer’s own moving shadow fusing with the luminous ground. Equally glowing and opaque in degrees ranging from subtle to stark, Untitled (Black White Inner Band, Beveled) is a stunning example of Corse’s investigation of perception that was recently subject to a major solo exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 

  • Light as Subject & Material

    As part of Corse's White Light Inner Band series from the early 2000s, Untitled (Black White Inner Band, Beveled) powerfully expands on Corse's pioneering innovations of the 1960s. Based in Los Angeles, Corse sought to incorporate light into her practice in the most objective way possible. While initially studying quantum physics to create her early series Light Paintings, Corse soon began to focus on the inherently subjective perception of scientific phenomena. Her integration of industrial retroreflective beads in her paintings was prompted by the epiphany of driving through Malibu and noticing how highway safety lines reflected light in different intensities depending on how her own point of view shifted. Embedding this material within acrylic paint on the canvas, starting in 1968, allowed Corse to endow painting with its own light, giving rise to her breakthrough series, White Light.
     

     

    "And so I went back, after the light pieces, to the paintings with the micro-glass spheres, the highway safety spheres, which put the light in the painting, and put it in your perception—because as you move, it changes — So, you realize that perception is creating the art."
    – Mary Corse 

     

     

    Untitled (Black White Inner Band, Beveled) also harkens back to Corse’s Black Earth series, which she began after moving from downtown Los Angeles to Topanga Canyon in 1970s. The starkness of the black bands recall the enormous ceramic slabs she had molded on the rocks of the surrounding Malibu Mountains and covered in a rich black glaze. More specifically, however, the present work originates from her Arch works, where the differentiation between the outer and inner bands is typically entirely dependent on the viewer’s position in relation to the work. Bringing together light and materiality in Untitled (Black White Inner Band, Beveled), Corse brilliantly explores the tension between perception and objective reality – putting forth a work that is as ever changing as the reality surrounding us. 

  • Studio Visit

    Ahead of Corse's first solo museum survey exhibition in 2018, The Whitney Museum of American

    Art visited the artist in her studio in Topanga Canyon, California.

     

     

  • Collector's Digest

    Mary Corse is a true pioneer who shaped the Southern California Light and Space Movement in the 1960s. She shared with contemporaries such as James Turrell and Robert Irwin a deep fascination with perception, and to that end pushed art making to its very extreme by embracing the notion light itself could serve as both subject and material of art.

    In 1971, Corse was awarded the Theodoron Award by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and her work Untitled (Light Painting) from the same year entered their permanent collection. Four years later, in 1975, she received the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and in the early 1980s both The Menil Collection in Houston and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art acquired her work.

    Yet, for much of her nearly six-decade career, Corse worked largely without the acclaim granted to her male peers. As she has recalled, "for years, I was not accepted at all" (Mary Corse, quoted in Hilarie M. Sheets,  "Interview, Mary Corse", The Art Newspaper, May 4, 2018, online). It has only been in recent years that Corse's singular career is finally receiving its long overdue examination and recognition.


    The Momentum

    2011
    Corse's work is included in the seminal exhibition Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A., Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970 at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, and Surface, Support, Process: The 1960s Monochrome in the Guggenheim Collection at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.

    2012 
    Corse is represented by Lehmann Maupin in New York.

    2016  
    The Whitney Museum of American Art acquires Untitled (Two Triangular Columns), 1965.
    Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles, announces its primary representation of Corse.

    2017
    The Dia Art Foundation introduces Corse to their permanent collection, acquiring Untitled (White Light L-Corners), 1969, Untitled (White Light Square Corners), 1970, Untitled (Black Earth Series), 1978, and Untitled (White Inner Band), 2010. Corse joins Lisson Gallery, London.

    2018 
    In May, Dia:Beacon presents its long-term installation of Corse's work in Beacon, New York, cementing her status alongside such peers as Dan Flavin and Robert Irwin. The installation will be on view until 2021.
     


    "It [Dia:Beacon] is a perfect environment in which to truly appreciate the work of Mary Corse, an artist who has considered the effects of light on abstract painting in groundbreaking ways.
    Jessica Morgan,  Nathalie de Gunzburg Director, Dia Art Foundation



    In June, The Whitney Museum of American Art presents Mary Corse’s first solo museum exhibition Mary Corse: A Survey in Light Pace Gallery announces representation of Corse in Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul and New York.

     
    "For much of her more than five-decade career, the painter Mary Corse was largely overlooked. But with three new shows this season she’s become hard to miss."
    The Wall Street Journal, April 2018 
     


    2019   
    Mary Corse: A Survey in Light travels to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
     
    2020
    Corse's work is included in  Figures on a Ground, Perspectives on Minimal Art   at the Fondation CAB in Brussels through December 2020.
      

    • Provenance

      ACE Gallery, Los Angeles
      Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2014

    • Exhibited

      Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Buenos Aires, Obsesión Geométrica. American School 1965 - 2015, October 17, 2015 - March 13, 2016, p. 187 (illustrated, p. 164)

    • Catalogue Essay

      “And so I went back, after the light pieces, to the paintings with the micro-glass spheres, the highway safety spheres, which put the light in the painting, and put it in your perception—because as you move, it changes—So, you realize that perception is creating the art.” – Mary Corse


      Untitled (Black White Inner Band, Beveled)
      , 2006, synthesizes decades of Mary Corse’s pioneering Light and Space research into a perfectly balanced composition. In Untitled (Black White Inner Band, Beveled), what at first glance appears to be a minimalist composition of white and black stripes reveals itself to be a constantly changing field of pure light, varying in intensity with fluctuations in the work’s illumination and the viewer’s position. It is the central band of white acrylic and reflective glass microspheres that here achieves Corse’s signature goal of imbuing painting with light, the luminous effect of its materials balanced by the two bold black stripes on either end. While the outer white forms initially seem identical to the bold central column, they gradually reveal a perceptual difference as one moves around the work, with the viewer’s own moving shadow fusing with the luminous ground. Equally glowing and opaque in degrees ranging from subtle to stark, Untitled (Black White Inner Band, Beveled) is a stunning example of Corse’s investigation of perception that is currently subject to a major solo exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

      Corse created this work as part of her larger White Light Inner Band series from the early 2000s, which further expanded on her pioneering innovations of the 1960s. While Corse’s career has gained considerable recognition in recent years, her contributions to both the Light and Space and minimalist movements were generally overlooked until recent years. Based in Los Angeles, Corse sought to incorporate light into her practice in the most objective way possible. While initially studying quantum physics to create her early series Light Paintings, Corse soon began to focus on the inherently subjective perception of scientific phenomena. Her integration of industrial reflective beads in her paintings was prompted by the epiphany of driving through Malibu and noticing how highway safety lines reflected light in different intensities depending on how her own point of view shifted. Embedding this material within acrylic paint on the canvas, starting in 1968, allowed Corse to endow a painting with its own light, giving rise to her breakthrough series, White Light.

      In many ways, Untitled (Black White Inner Band, Beveled) also harkens back to Corse’s Black Earth series, which she began after moving from downtown Los Angeles to Topanga Canyon in 1970s. The starkness of the black bands recall the enormous ceramic slabs she had molded on the rocks of the surrounding Malibu Mountains and covered in a rich black glaze. More specifically, however, the present work continues Corse’s interest in rethinking composition and properties of light in her paintings. In this painting, the matte black bracketing the microsphere field creates an oppositional force that is highlighted depending on the viewer’s position in relation to the work. Bringing together light and materiality in Untitled (Black White Inner Band, Beveled), Corse brilliantly explores the tension between perception and objective reality – putting forth a work that is as ever changing as the reality surrounding us.

Δ113

Untitled (Black White Inner Band, Beveled)

signed and dated "Mary Corse 2006" on the reverse
glass microspheres and acrylic on canvas
84 x 84 in. (213.4 x 213.4 cm)
Executed in 2006.

Estimate
$220,000 - 280,000 

sold for $250,000

Contact Specialist

John McCord
Head of Day Sale, Morning Session
New York
+1 212 940 1261

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session

New York Auction 2 July 2020