American Sampler: The Art of Corita Kent

Art publisher 50by70 has produced a beautiful new collection of the work of the acclaimed American screenprinting nun Sister Corita Kent.

 

Art publisher 50by70 has produced a beautiful new collection of the work of the acclaimed American screenprinting nun Sister Corita Kent.

We blogged about the first volume published by 50by70 back in December 2009. Volume two, entitled American Sampler, The Artwork of Corita Kent, is presented in a boxed set of six high quality prints awith a fully illustrated 40-page booklet about Sister Corita and her work.

Encouraged by the sell-out success of the first volume of 50by70 which was sold exclusively in Habitat stores, the art director and editor responsible, Tim Fishlock, teamed up with specialist litho printers PUSH to produce Volume Two independently.

Sister Corita Kent’s (1918-1986) work in the 1960s was admired by the likes of Charles and Ray Eames, Saul Bass and John Cage. A Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Los Angeles, she ran the art department at Immaculate Heart College for most of the 60s. Buckminster Fuller, the visionary architect, described visiting her classroom as “One of the most fundamentally inspiring experiences of my life.”

Working closely with the Corita Art Center in LA, 50by70 has, Fishlock tells us, succeeded in accurately reproducing six of the artist’s most vivid works. The prints and book come housed in a cloth covered box which sports a four colour screen print of Open Wide, a seminal print by the artist from 1964.

“Corita’s serigraphs are joyous exercises in graphic concision and colour abstraction,” says Fishlock. “She manipulated the visual junk of popular culture that surrounded her with great deftness and compositional skill,” he continues. “Advertising slogans and logos, signage and song lyrics were all appropriated to create works that combined social activism and spiritual wonder. As the theologian Harvey Cox put it, ‘the world of signs and sales slogans and plastic containers was not, for her, an empty wasteland. It was the dough out of which she baked the bread of life.’”

Here’s a look at the prints:

And here are some shots of the accompanying 40 page booklet:

Both the prints and the books were printed using a 280 lines per inch Agfa screen, printed CMYK on a Heidelberg 102 six-colour press using vegetable based inks, on to Olin Rough High White acid-free 170gsm stock.

American Sampler, The Artwork of Corita Kent is strictly limited to 350 copies and retails at £195. Copies can be purchased from 50by70.com and the Tate Modern shop.

 

 

 

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