Someday is Now: The Art of Corita Kent is the first full-scale survey of more 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 the most popular American graphic artists of the 1960s and 1970s. Throughout her 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 remain iconic symbols of that turbulent time. Corita's earnest, collaborative approach to art-making—combining faith, politics, and teaching with messages of acceptance and hope—continues to be a potent influence for many artists working today.
A Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Corita taught at the Art Department at Immaculate Heart College from 1947 through 1968. At IHC, she developed her 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 pass her 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 hope filled.”
The first major museum exhibition to survey Corita's entire career, Someday is Now features over 200 serigraph prints including early abstractions and text pieces as well as more lyrical works made in the 1970s and 1980s. In addition, 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 accompany the exhibition, bringing together for the first time three decades of Kentʼs energetic, colorful artwork with a selection of her legendary assignments, excerpts from her own writing, and statements from former students, collaborators, and contemporary artists and designers influenced by her art and spirit.
Someday is Now is made possible with the generous support of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Friends of the Tang.
Someday is Now was on view at the Tang Museum at Skidmore College January 19—July 28, 2013. The exhibition will also travel to the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh (January 31—April 18, 2015) and the Pasadena Museum of California Art (June 14—October 11, 2015).