Sister Corita Kent, an avant-garde American artist, gained international renown in the 1960s for her provocative and experimental printmaking. Bringing together references from everyday packaging, scripture, products, trademarks and commercial phrases, she draws on the everyday and subverts it into something radical and disarming. A contemporary of Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha and Roy Lichtenstein, Corita’s approach to Pop art allows space for contemplative reflection amidst the mass appeal and alluring aesthetic of advertising and consumer culture.
Having joined the Roman Catholic Order of The Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in L.A in 1936, Corita chaired the colleges art department educating and collaborating with the likes of Saul Bass, John Cage, Charles and Ray Eames and Alfred Hitchcock. She encouraged her students to look at the world differently, seeking inspiration and revelation in the everyday. As her friend Harvey Cox noted, “Like a priest, a shaman, a magician, she could pass her hands over the commonest of the everyday, the superficial, the oh-so-ordinary, and make it a vehicle of the luminous, the only, and the hope filled.”
Kent’s impassioned and joyous work, alongside the continuing influence of her teaching, has assured her legacy as one of the most significant contributors to the pop art movement.