Thursday, May 3, 2007

photo finish?

Brush drawing by Thomas Merton, "Untitled", 1964
In his book, "Angelic Mistakes", Roger Lipsey comments on Merton's art, saying that some "have secrets" and some do not. He does not sense secrets in the above drawing:
"Merton is again working his diagonals - like innumerable artists before him, he sensed the inherent dynamism of diagonal compositions. Against a rhythmically patterned field, a tight cluster seems to race to the left. And just as one is about to take leave of this image, the thought occurs that, after all, Merton lived near Louisville, home of the Kentucky Derby, and like all people who live in or near Louisville, whether in monastery or mansion, he was aware of the Derby. This image may well be his delighted and delightful homage to a great local tradition. It looks like a photo finish."


  1. I like to look at these for a while with my eyes a little bit unfocused. I guess Roger (and perhaps others?)would think I'm strange, but I see three monks on the lower right approaching a pagoda. :)

  2. Hmmm. I can see the 2 monks, but not the 3rd, Gabrielle ... But I also see the holy spirit hovering over those 2 monks!

    Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment, Gabrielle!


Lax photography

Robert Lax (1915-2000), Untitled, 1970s; black and white photograph, 11 x 17 inches; Robert Lax Archives. St. Bonaventure University ...