4. Mary Corse | Untitled (Black earth)

100,000–115,000 USD


Mary Corse
b. 1945
Untitled (Black earth)
fired earth clay tile
22 1/2 by 22 1/2 by 1 in. (57.15 by 57.15 x 2.54 cm)

Courtesy of the artist

Driving along the Pacific Coast Highway late one night in 1968, Mary Corse observed how the white lines on the road retroflected back the light from her headlamps to dazzling effect and had an epiphany. Having spent the preceding decade working with shaped canvases and sculpture, the artist began incur porating the same visibility-enhancing glass microspheres found in the road markings to create her seminal ‘Untitled (First White Light Series)’ (1968): works that sought not merely to represent light but to embody it. Born in Berkeley, in 1945, Corse was one of the few women associated with the West Coast Light and Space Movement of the 1960s and ’70s, which included artists such as Larry Bell and James Turrell. In 1970, she moved to Topanga in the Santa Monica Mountains, where she still works today. Here, in 1978, she developed another key body of work, ‘Untitled (Black Earth Series)’, in which she employed ceramic tiles with an iridescent surface, moulded to reflect the shape of the ground. Some were so large, Corse had to construct her own kiln in which to fire them. This combination of technical skill, scientific rigour and material experimentation characterizes Corse’s 50-year practice: in the 1960s, she even took classes in quantum physics to enable her to construct large-scale light boxes. Her work, however, is never cold nor clinical. Corse combines the key tropes of modernist painting — the monochrome, the geometric — with her own innovations and subtle gesturalism to create paintings as beautiful as they are minimal. In 2018, the artist’s first museum solo show, ‘Mary Corse: A Survey in Light’, opened at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, before touring the following year to Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA. Corse’s work is on long-term display at Dia, Beacon, NY, and held in many major public collections including: Fondation Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Menil Collection, Houston, TX; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

For inquiries, please email us at eneckes@aspenartmuseum.org .