Explore the Era

Delve into the postwar Los Angeles art world in this online archive, which provides additional material related to the exhibitions on view at the Getty Center. Learn about hipsters and happenings, and the venues across the city where all the action took place through images from the archives and first-hand accounts with the artists.

Mary Corse

Mary Corse in her studio

Mary Corse working in downtown Los Angeles in 1966. Courtesy of and © Mary Corse

Mary Corse was born in the Bay Area in 1945 and studied art from a very early age. Inspired by the abstractions, compositions, and color theories of artists such as Wassily Kandinsky and Josef Albers, she enrolled at Chouinard Art Institute in the mid-1960s to study painting. She soon began to create large-scale works using shaped canvases and non-traditional materials like Plexiglas, fluorescent lights, and glass microspheres to bridge the mediums of painting and sculpture. The evanescent light effects of her works shift with every viewing angle and are nearly impossible to capture in photographs.

Historic Map Locations

Works of Art

  • Untitled (White Light Grid Series-V)

    Untitled (White Light Grid Series-V), 1969, Mary Corse. Glass microspheres in acrylic on canvas. 108 x 108 in. Andrea Nasher Collection. Permission courtesy Ace Gallery and the artist

Explore the Archive

  • Video: Mary Corse

    Video: Mary Corse speaks about her work, April 2011

  • Mary Corse, 1966

    Mary Corse working in downtown Los Angeles in 1966. Image courtesy of and © Mary Corse