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Editorial: Recommendations
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Mary Corse
Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles, California
Recommendation by Emily Nimpstsch


Mary Corse, "Untitled" (DNA Series), 2017, acrylic squares and glass microspheres in acrylic on canvas

Continuing through November 11, 2017

Spanning the past five decades of minimalist Mary Corse’s career, "Then and Now" studies the intricacies of light and shadow through repetition, reductivist geometric forms, and spare, yet illuminating paintings and installations. For the first time since 1968 "The Cold Room," one of her most beloved installations, is on display. The piece consists of a suspended light box emitting a brilliant, white light. This light box is housed within a sculpture chilled close to the freezing point. Viewers are allowed inside, their senses alive and alert. This incredibly unique sensation can be compared to basking in glorious, almost blinding sunshine atop a snowy hill.

Representing Corse’s career in the late 1990s and early 2000s are five mural-sized paintings, each embodying her signature “White Inner Band” theme. Using horizontal and vertical canvas orientations, these images depict alternating vertical stripes of white and off white, as well as gray and white, all of a set width. In this regard, Corse’s work is similar to that of Agnes Martin. Her paintings are meditative, with each stripe representing a repetition of a mantra. There is no color or extravagant composition here, just a dedication to the formal qualities of line and shade. Also reminiscent of Martin’s work are subtle gradations and imperfections in the whites and grays, revealing the artist’s hand in the otherwise laser-like perfection.  

Continuing with this leitmotif of alternating bands, Corse debuts the “DNA Series.” These paintings feature alternating, vertical black and white stripes. This group of recent work harkens back to Corse’s black acrylic square paintings of the 1970s. With a starker contrast, these works resemble barcodes, piano keys, and jail cell bars. But through repetition, they hold the key to freedom of the mind.

Kayne Griffin Corcoran

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