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corita kent

Someday Is Now: The Art of Corita Kent

Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena
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someday is now: the art of Corita kent

Someday is Now: The Art of Corita Kent is the first full-scale survey ofmore than thirty years of work by Corita Kent (1918-1986). A teacher at Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles and a civil rights, feminist, and anti-war activist, Corita, as she is commonly referred to, was one of themost popular American graphic artists of the 1960s and 1970s. Throughouther rich and varied career, she made thousands of posters, murals, and signature serigraphs that combine her passions for faith and politics.Reflecting larger questions and concerns of the 1960s, her images remainiconic symbols of that turbulent time. Corita’s earnest, collaborativeapproach to art-making—combining faith, politics, and teaching with messages of acceptance and hope—continues to be a potent influence for manyartists working today.

A Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Corita taught at the Art Departmentat Immaculate Heart College from 1947 through 1968. At IHC, she developedher own version of Pop art, mixing bright, bold imagery with provocative texts pulled from a range of secular and religious sources, including street signs, scripture, poetry, philosophy, advertising, and pop song lyrics. She used printmaking as a populist medium to communicate with the world, and her avant-garde designs appeared widely as billboards, book jackets, illustrations, and posters. Together with her students, Corita sought out revelation in the everyday, exploring grocery stores, car dealerships, and the streets of Hollywood for inspiration. As Corita’s friend, theologian Harvey Cox, noted, “Like a priest, a shaman, a magician, she could passher 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 hopefilled.”

The first major museum exhibition to survey Corita’s entire career, Somedayis Now features over 200 serigraph prints including early abstractions andtext pieces as well as more lyrical works made in the 1970s and 1980s. Inaddition, the exhibition presents rarely exhibited drawings and photographs Corita used for teaching and documentary purposes. These works provide a telling and visually stimulating record of 1960s politics, visual styles, and pop culture.

An extensive catalogue co-published by DelMonico–Prestel will accompanythe exhibition, bringing together for the first time three decades of Kentʼs energetic, colorful artwork with a selection of her legendaryassignments, excerpts from her own writing, and statements from formerstudents, collaborators, and contemporary artists and designers influencedby her art and spirit.