Los Angeles

Sister Mary Corita

Laguna Beach Art Association

According to the gallery attendant, Sister Mary Corita was intrigued by the advertising posters on the outside of a new market across the street from Immaculate Heart College. At any rate, in her current exhibition, Sister Corita utilizes such elements as her basic design statement. The large, over-all elements are either single words, portions of advertising slogans, or simplified designs from boxes or wrappers. Her work would differ from Pop Art, as she modifies these elements to achieve stronger designs. Also included in each work are beautifully designed quotations. In some cases, the two work very well together, supporting and reinforcing each other both visually and conceptually. For instance, in one work, a simplified bread wrapper design is partially shown, complete with the words Enriched Bread; played against it is a quotation from a Kentucky miner’s wife on her despair and frustration in obtaining enough food for her children to eat. Tender is outstanding in blue, grey and white, with the quotation written in white against the darker letters “e” and “r,” reinforcing their unusual position and intriguing the eye. Some of the works tend to become dependent on the words of the quotation. The Juiciest Tomato of Them All is on the verge of becoming a tract rather than a graphic statement.

The problems that arise in this exhibition come from Sister Corita’s attempt to push her media as far as she can, to break fresh ground. As an endeavor to utilize words and the techniques of contemporary advertising posters in a creative way, the show is outstanding, and Sister Corita’s sense of color and graphic design are strong and sure.

H. J. Weeks