Sister Corita Kent (1918-1986)
Sheet: 29 3/4 × 36 3/16 in. (75.6 × 91.9 cm) Image (irregular): 22 1/16 × 36 1/8 in. (56 × 91.8 cm)
Edition possibly 250
Printed and published by Sister Corita Kent; printed by Immaculate Heart College; published by Immaculate Heart Community
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase with funds from the Print Committee
Rights and Reproductions Information
© artist or artist’s estate
Corita Kent created this serigraph, Ha, as well as Who Came Out of the Water (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 and 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.