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Damn Everything but the Circus

Contributed by Stephen Coles on Nov 21st, 2019. Artwork published in .
    Damn Everything but the Circus 1
    Source: https://letterformarchive.org Collection of Letterform Archive. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Damn Everything But the Circus is a 1970 book compiling Corita Kent’s Circus print series of 1968. The title comes from a poem by e.e. cummings:

    Damn everything but the circus!

    …damn everything that is grim, dull,
    motionless, unrisking, inward turning,
    damn everything that won’t get into the
    circle, that won’t enjoy, that won’t throw
    its heart into the tension, surprise, fear
    and delight of the circus, the round
    world, the full existence…

    The main type appears to have once been Playbill — either in wood or metal. I say “once been” because, as far as I know, Kent rarely used fonts directly. Instead, she photographed, enlarged, cropped, and otherwise manipulated printed material, making the previously used type and images into stencils for screen printing. The original 23×23-inch prints (see circus alphabet: d, everything coming up daisies) were reproduced for this book using standard offset lithography.

    November 20, 2019 was officially deemed Corita Day in Los Angeles in honor of what would be Corita Kent’s 101st birthday.

    Damn Everything but the Circus 2
    Source: http://www.paperposts.me Image: Murray Grigo-McMahon. License: All Rights Reserved.
    Damn Everything but the Circus 3
    Source: http://www.paperposts.me Image: Murray Grigo-McMahon. License: All Rights Reserved.
    Damn Everything but the Circus 4
    Source: http://www.paperposts.me Image: Murray Grigo-McMahon. License: All Rights Reserved.
    Damn Everything but the Circus 5
    Source: http://www.paperposts.me Image: Murray Grigo-McMahon. License: All Rights Reserved.
    Process material for the print, w what every woman knows.
    Source: https://hammer.ucla.edu Collection UCLA Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, Hammer Museum. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Process material for the print, w what every woman knows.

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