|Acquisition Number: 2022.3
22 3/4 x 22 3/4 in.
Credit: Purchased by the Canton Museum of Art
"e eye love" is one serigraph from a series of 30 made by Corita Kent titled "Circus Alphabet." With 26 letters of the alphabet and 4 serigraphs spelling out "DAMN" "EVERYTHING" "BUT THE" "CIRCUS," Kent created the series in Boston in 1968 while she was on a sabbatical from Immaculate Heart College, shortly before she would seek dispensation from her vows. In Kent's handwriting across the bottom of "e eye love" it reads "Should like to be able to love my country and still love justice. Camus" The letter e and the eye in front of it represent the "I" to start the quote in bold, bright colors. The quote is from Albert Camus, a French playwright, author, and journalist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literatuure in 1957.
The "Circus Alphabet" series depicts a bold, fluorescent color scheme, an abundance of text and quotes, and a variety of circus imagery that conveys a sense of tragedy and activism but also humor and hope. Appropriating imagery from sources such as the archives of The Ringling Museum of the Circus and "The Handbook of Early Advertising Art" (1956) by Clarence P. Horning, Kent's series reflects her fascination with the circus, a theme that she often incorporated into her classroom and teaching practices.
Kent stated that her alphabet series worked as individual prints and as one series. The full set of prints was later reproduced in a 1970 book, "Damn Everything but the Circus" published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York.