Saturday, December 24, 2016

Corita Kent exhibit on display at Dordt College

Corita Kent
Love, 1979
Screen Print, 20 x 20 inches
“…the ability to feel is very beautiful.” —Corita Kent

Dordt College will display a selection of original screen prints by Corita Kent from the collection of the Corita Art Center, Los Angeles. The exhibition of 26 prints will be on display from January 6 to February 12.

The exhibition has been curated by Dordt College Professor of Art David Versluis. “I attempted to select work that represents the range of Corita Kent’s typographic style and expressiveness,” says Versluis. “As a graphic design instructor for many years I’ve thought about the qualities of Corita Kent and her activist screen prints of the ’60s and ’70s. This exhibition suggests that her message and image prints are as important and relevant for us today as they were nearly 50 years ago.”

Corita Kent (Sister Mary Corita) (1918–1986), born in Fort Dodge, Iowa, was an artist, educator, and advocate for social justice. At age 18 she entered the religious order Immaculate Heart of Mary, eventually teaching in and then heading up the art department at Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles. Her work evolved from figurative and religious to incorporating advertising images and slogans, popular song lyrics, biblical verses, and literature. Throughout the ’60s, her work became increasingly political, urging viewers to consider poverty, racism, and injustice.

In 1968 she left the order and moved to Boston. Her work evolved into a sparser, introspective style, influenced by living in a new environment, a secular life, and her battles with cancer. She remained active in social causes until her death in 1986. At the time of her death, she had created almost 800 screen print editions, thousands of watercolors, and innumerable public and private commissions.

Roy R. Behrens sent me this review of the Corita Kent catalog from the College Art Association.

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