Sister Corita

10 April - 10 May, 2008

Biography      View Work    Exhibitions       News   Back


Sister Corita, the “modern nun”, as she has been called, was one the most important representatives of Pop Art in the United States during the 60s and 70s.


In 1936, Francis Elisabeth Kent (1918-1986) joined the order of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Los Angeles and took the name of Sister Mary Corita.  In 1951 she completed her Master’s degree in Art History at the University of Southern California and began to teach in the Art Department at the college of the monastery, of which she was the director from 1964 to 1968.


In 1968, after leaving monastic life, Corita moved to Boston to devote herself to her artwork.  She created numerous works (serigraphs, murals and book covers), many of which were commissioned by commercial but also non-profit organizations such as the Westinghouse Group W, Container Corporation, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Amnesty International, Reynolds Aluminum Corporation, Boston Gas and the United States Postal Service. In September 1986, Sister Corita lost her battle with cancer.


The works of Sister Corita echo her spirituality, optimistic outlook, and a marked commitment to peace and social justice. In 1955 she introduced texts into her work, which, after 1961, became an integral part of her serigraphs.  Her early works were dominated by representational images and were influenced by religious iconography and literature.  From the 60s onward, her basic source of inspiration was the stimulus she received from her immediate social environment and the pop culture of her time (song lyrics, standardized designs and advertising slogans).  Her works express the values of Pop Art by creatively incorporating language and the aesthetics of the advertising industry to convey subversive social and moral messages.