“Pop art [is] art in which commonplace objects (such as comic strips, soup cans, road signs, and hamburgers) were used as subject matter and were often physically incorporated into the work.” (Encyclopædia Britannica)
Corita was inspired by an exhibition of Andy Warhol's Soup Cans to start creating art from the enviroment around her; combining the strong visual langauge of advertisements with the text of scripture and poetry and the ethos of social justice.
"Toying with Pop’s roots in advertising, Corita employs the movement’s style of bold graphics and billboard-like immediacy not to critique consumerism but to promote the importance of reflection and contemplation.” (Berry & Duncan, 2013, p. 6)
These four works all contain direct references to advertisements; the wonder bread label (partially reversed) in yes people like us", the Sunkist label in as witness to the light, Worlds Finest at the top in Song with an Apple and the Philip Morris slogan of "Come home to flavor again" in lesson nine.
“I really love the look of letters -- the letters themselves become a kind of subject matter even apart from their meaning -- like apples or oranges are for artists” --Corita (quoted by Berry & Duncan, 2013, p.10)
The focus on text as part of art that began in Corita's abstract expressionist work continued in her pop art. Here the poetry and scripture is juxtaposed against newspapers and advertisements. These works contain poetry from Gerald Huckaby and Robert Lax, an excerpt from a play by Paddy Chayefsky and text from The Little Prince and The Velveteen Rabbit.
“Sister Corita once said that she admired the people who marched and went to jail (in opposition to the war in Vietnam) but that she preferred to do art instead of protesting (Hayden 1991)” (Looste, 2000, p. 109)
These three works express Corita's views toward social justice and the need for peace in a fraught world. While she didn't choose to march she made art that clearly expressed a viewpoint through a colorful and collaged style emblematic of pop art.
Berry, I., & Duncan, M. (Eds.). (2013). Someday is now: The art of Corita Kent. The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery.
Loste, B.M. (2000). Life stories of artist Corita Kent (1918-1986): Her spirit, her art, the woman within. Bell & Howell Information and Learning Company.
"Pop art." Britannica Academic, Encyclopædia Britannica, 1 Jun. 2020. academic-eb-com.pearl.stkate.edu/levels/collegiate/article/Pop-art/60830. Accessed 30 Apr. 2021.