In the liberal Pop Art world of 60s America, graphic artist Frances Elizabeth Kent quickly became a renowned figure within creative circles. She was a hugely talented designer, typographer and photographer and, uniquely, balanced her creative path with another calling – that of being a practicing nun within the Catholic church.
And yet Sister Mary Corita (as she became known after her inception into the Immaculate Heart community in Los Angeles at 18) remains an unsung heroine of modern graphic design – a reappraisal of her position as one of the US’s most strikingly original creatives is long overdue. Julie Ault, author of a new book of Corita’s work – Come Alive! The Spirited Art of Sister Corita – looks set to help change this perception. Cited as a major influence on contemporary artists such as Mike Kelley and Wolfgang Tillmans, Corita’s work is also the subject of an exhibition which starts tonight – at Tillmans’ London gallery space, Between Bridges.