Provocative art put Catholic nun in the middle of 1960s maelstrom
Combining images and words from advertising, pop culture and religion, the bold graphic art of Sister Mary Corita was as deeply representative of the spirit of the 1960s as it was ubiquitous in church basements, dorm rooms and urban communes of people involved in the struggle for civil rights and the campaign to end the Vietnam War.
In today’s visual and graphically dominant popular culture, Corita’s work — her bold typography, vivid colors, the use of ad logos and slogans — resonates with a new generation, attracted by what has been called “her festive involvement in the world” and her interest in “blurring the lines between art and life.”
“Corita’s art from the 1960s, which is based in advertising, has this great pop appeal to us today in our media-saturated culture,” said Kathryn Wat of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington.
The museum has mounted an exhibition of Corita’s work, “R(ad)ical Love: Sister Mary Corita,” drawn from the collection of the Rev. Robert Giguere (1917-2003), a member of the Society of St. Sulpice and a friend of Corita’s from her time in California. Corita was a member of the Order of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Los Angeles, and her art expressed the changes that were blowing through the church as a result of the reform-minded Second Vatican Council. Corita left the order in 1968. [more]