January 22, 2013
As ’60s activist art enters museums, a new generation is creating an iconography of protest for today.
“There have been the singing nun and the flying nun, but the hippest of all is Los Angeles’s painting nun,” noted Newsweek in its 1967 cover story on Sister Corita Kent, the artist, activist, and teacher, whose first career survey, as The Saratogian reports, opened at the Francis Young Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore college this week.
Despite her edgy Pop sensibility, influential friends like Ben Shahn and Buckminster Fuller, and posthumous shows in various museums, along with a 2009 exhibition at Zach Feuer Gallery, Sister Corita never became a presence in the mainstream art world. No doubt this is partly because of her vocation (she was a Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which she joined in 1936 and left in 1968), and the fact that she was a printmaker, rather than a painter.