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Sister Corita Kent

Who Came Out Of The Water


On View

Floor 6

Collection Galleries


Sister Corita Kent (1918-1986)


Who Came Out Of The Water






Sheet: 36 3/16 × 29 3/4 in. (91.9 × 75.6 cm) Image (irregular): 36 × 22 1/2 in. (91.4 × 57.2 cm)

Edition information

Edition possibly 250

Publication information

Printed and published by Sister Corita Kent; printed by Immaculate Heart College; published by Immaculate Heart Community

Credit line

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase with funds from the Print Committee

Accession number


Object Label

Corita Kent created this serigraph, Who Came Out of the Water and Ha, (also in the Whitney’s collection), during her three-week break in August between semesters teaching art at Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles. Both prints share the primary layer, consisting of twisted letters and the upside-down word “LIFE,” from Life magazine.Kent first used words in her prints in 1955, and subsequently introduced advertising slogans and consumer package motifs in the early 1960s. In 1966, she began manipulating the text to approximate how one sees an advertisement while walking or driving. Kent relied upon what she called a “‘finder,’ a ‘looking tool’ that “helps take things out of context,” such as a camera or an empty slide frame. To create works such as this one, she photographed advertisements then wrinkled, ripped, cropped, and re-photographed her photographic prints. She then isolated distorted type, from which she made stencils to create single printed layers, resulting in an exuberant field of text, color, and reference. The title of this piece was most likely taken from the 1966 Doris Day film The Glass Bottom Boat, for which some of the promotional materials included the by-line “The Spy Who Came Out of the Water.”

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