The content on this page is aggregated and is not affiliated with the artist.
Corita Kent (1918–1986); artist, educator, and advocate for social justice. At 18 she entered the religious order Immaculate Heart of Mary, eventually teaching in and then heading up the art department at Immaculate Heart College. 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. After 1970, 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 serigraph editions, thousands of watercolors, and innumerable public and private commissions.
Her birth name was Frances Elizabeth Kent and Corita took the name Sister Mary Corita when she joined the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Because it was an order devoted to Mary, all the nuns had a variation of Mary in their name, but they frequently dropped it when speaking to each other. After 1968, Corita was no longer a nun and toyed with going back to “Frannie,” her childhood name, but at that time, she was already well established as an artist and decided to remain Corita. While she never legally changed her name to Corita Kent, we honor her wishes by using that name.
...Corita showed an early proclivity for art and her father encouraged her to develop it. As a young artist, Corita was influenced by medieval art she was studying. She was also very interested in the contemporary art of her time. Her early work shows some abstract expressionist influence and then she was certainly influenced by the Pop art movement that developed in Los Angeles in the early 1960s.
1962, Corita sees Andy Warhol’s Soup Cans in Los Angeles...