About the exhibition
I love Sister Corita. In my taxonomy of the world’s people, she and Mr. Rogers occupy the same beatific corner: vibrant and warm-blooded, but not fully of this world. In the 1950s and 60s, she was a powerful force who taught art at Immaculate Heart College in L.A. Gusted along by a cohort of progressive sisters and a modernizing Catholic Church, she developed a program that included visits from luminaries like Alfred Hitchcock, Buckminster Fuller, and the Eames. In her own practice, she made joyously colored screenprints (she used a mail-order DIY kit to teach herself how), developing them out of photos she took of freeway signage, grocery store ads, billboards, and other text-based imagery that blanketed the city. Perpetually on the lookout for material as she walked or drove around town, she could count on L.A. to serve up a buffet.
Corita’s art always testified to her faith. But she also began marshalling her designs for an impassioned vision of social justice—promoting civil rights, protesting the Vietnam War, and creating a unique brand of Pop art that blithely turned corporate-produced visuality into a vehicle for advocacy and devotion. The twelve works here share qualities with Corita’s work: in purpose (All power to the water!), in process (stenciling, crimping, layering), and above all, in spirit—one of irreverence, ardor, and joy.
About the selector
Nancy Lim is Assistant Curator of Painting and Sculpture at SFMOMA. She is co-curator of the museum’s 2019 SECA Art Award show (on view now), featuring the Bay Area’s own luminaries: Marlon Mullen, Sahar Khoury, and Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle.