Mary Magdalene

May 9, 2012

Martin Erspamer’s work is shaped by his life of prayer at St. Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana. “Images,” he says, “are formed through scripture or the chant of a hymn that floats in your head and then comes back visually. My life as an artist is enriched by the monastic life. There are certain times of day for prayer or reflection, so a certain reflective quality is built into this life that helps the process of the artist: examining, seeing things in a lot of different ways.” By cutting into and removing portions of the top layer of a tinted lacquer laminate on acetate, Brother Martin creates delicate graphic lines that are reminiscent of woodcuts. He is influenced by Romanesque art, and also by 20th-century printmakers with religious sensibilities, notably Corita Kent and Eric Gill, as well as German Expressionist printmakers and painters like Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Emil Nolde.

—Lil Copan