ArtworksThumbnails
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MERNET LARSEN
Bunt
2016
Acryiic and mixed media on canvas
64 x 50 1/4 in.
 

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MERNET LARSEN
Misstep
2015
Acrylic and mixed media on canvas
50 x 60 in.

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MERNET LARSEN
Chainswer and Bicyclist
2014
Acrylic and mixed media on canvas
49 x 49 1/2 in.

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MERNET LARSEN
Punch
2016
Acrylic and mixed media on canvas
68 1/2 x 61 1/2 in.

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MERNET LARSEN
Reading in Bed
2015
Acrylic and mixed media on canvas
60 x 38 1/4 in.

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MERNET LARSEN
Skydiver
2016
Acrylic and mixed media on canvas
65 x 53 in. 

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MERNET LARSEN
Alphie
2015
Acrylic and mixed media on canvas.
72 x 39 in.

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MERNET LARSEN
Frontier
2015
Acrylic and mixed media on canvas
64 x 52 1/2 in.

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MERNET LARSEN
Campers
2015
Acrylic and mixed media on canvas
52 1/2 x 64 in.

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MERNET LARSEN
Sleepers
Acrylic and tracing paper on canvas
42 x 22 in. 

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MERNET LARSEN
Couple
2005
Acrylic and tracing paper on canvas
42 x 22 in.

 

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MERNET LARSEN
Study for "Reunion," 
2014
Acrylic on Bristol board
24 x 19 in.

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MERNET LARSEN
Study for "Cardplayers" (drawing),
2013
Graphite on Bristol board
24 x 19 in.
 

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MERNET LARSEN
Study for Cardplayers #2
2014
Acrylic on Bristol board
24 x 19 in.

 

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MERNET LARSEN
Dialog
2012
Acrylic on Bristol board
15 1/2 x 19 in.

 

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MERNET LARSEN
Study for Conductor
2012
Acrylic and graphite on paper
24 x 19 in.

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MERNET LARSEN
Study for Sit ups Leg lifts
2012
Acrylic and graphite on paper
18 7/8 x 23 1/2 in.
 

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MERNET LARSEN
Study for Seminar #2
2011
Acrylic and graphite on paper
26 1/8 x 20 in.

 

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MERNET LARSEN
Study for "Fisticuffs"
2010
Acrylic on Bristol board
24 x 19 in.
 

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MERNET LARSEN
Flat Tire - Study 1
2009
Acrylic and graphite on paper
24 x 19 in.

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MERNET LARSEN
Study for Mall Walkers II
2009
Acrylic on Bristol board
24 x 19 in.
 

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MERNET LARSEN
Faculty Meeting Study
2006
Acrylic on Bristol board
19 x 24 in.

 

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MERNET LARSEN
Study for "Cube"
2005
Acrylic on Bristol board
19 x 24 in.

Artist BioDownload Bio English PDF
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MERNET LARSEN, Campers, 2015

Mernet Larsen’s paintings are simultaneously rooted in and distant from reality. Taking inspiration from the geometric abstractions of El Lissitzky and the narrative stylization of 12th Century Japanese and early Renaissance paintings, Larsen’s vertiginous spaces often rendered in reverse perspective, and hard edged figures offer familiar version of reality that is analogous and parallel to our own. Developed over the last 40 years, Larsen’s independent and meticulous approach to representational painting “reaches toward, not from, life.”

 

In the early 2000s, Larsen came to a crucial turning point in her career, saying, “I decided that I wanted to paint old-fashioned narrative paintings with volume and depth and the essences of significant actions. I developed a longing for pictures evoking a classical sense of permanence, solidity, in the spirit of 15th century Italian painting. But I knew these paintings would be statements of longing, of recognition that essences must be constructed, not uncovered. They would have to be makeshift contraptions, taking into consideration the issues I had been dealing with for the previous 40 years.”

This realization opened Larsen up to an entirely new way to look at her painting, and continues to inform her work. Understanding the canvas as a constructed field rather than a way to uncover a truth or reality lying beneath the surface allows Larsen to tackle a multitude of spatial approaches and subjects that we see in her work. By distilling what Larsen refers to as the “essence” of narrative painting—the figure inhabiting physical space—through geometry and skewed perspective, she is able to create disquieting and unfamiliar feelings surrounding the often commonplace situations she creates. Despite this constructed tension, Larsen’s paintings are commonly infused with a humor and uncanny juxtaposition, making the works relatable and alien to the viewer simultaneously.

 

Describing the sensation one gets from viewing Larsen’s work, John Yau writes “it’s as if we have never seen anything like them before… Seeing becomes a kind of detective work, searching for clues while sorting through the visual evidence. We find ourselves on intimate terms with the familiar and even banal…The anarchy incipient in everyday life comes across as synonymous with its ordinariness…This is the undeniable power of Larsen’s work—she endows ubiquitous occurrences with an oddness that, on the surface of things, seems logical.”

 

​​Mernet Larsen (b. 1940 Houghton, Michigan) lives and works between Tampa, FL and Jackson Heights, New York. She received her BFA from the University of Florida, and her MFA from Indiana University.  She has exhibited extensively in Florida since the late 1970s, including over 30 solo exhibitions, including a retrospective of her work at DeLand Museum of Art in 1992. Larsen has also been included in over 70 group shows  including Sadie Coles HQ and White Cube in London, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C., and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Regina Rex, the New York Studio School Gallery and Lisa Cooley in New York City.  In addition, Larsen has had solo gallery exhibitions with Various Small Fires in Los Angeles and Johannes Vogt Gallery in New York City. 

Exhibitions
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Gallery Exhibition
Mernet Larsen
Things People Do
JAN 22 - FEB 21, 2016 | 291 GRAND ST NYC
New York
Press / Media
Articles / Reviews
Modern Painters
"The Vertigo Effect," by Mernet Larsen
Articles / Reviews
Art in America
"Mernet Larsen," by Julian Kreimer
Articles / Reviews
Artcritical
"Built Differently: Mernet Larsen's Strange Constructions," by David Brody
Articles / Reviews
The Brooklyn Rail
"Mernet Larsen: Things People Do," by Eleanor Ray
Articles / Reviews
Hyperallergic
"The Dynamic Distortions of a Formal Painter," by John Goodrich
Articles / Reviews
Art in America
"Mernet Larsen"
Articles / Reviews
The Paris Review
"Things People Do" by Dan Piepenbring
Articles / Reviews
Observer, "9 Things To Do in New York’s Art World Before January 24" by
Articles / Reviews
Hyperallergic
"Prolegomenon to an Artist Who — at Seventy-Two — Is Having Her First Solo Show in a New York Gallery," by John Yau
Articles / Reviews
ArtNews
"James Cohan Gallery Now Represents Mernet Larsen," by Hannah Ghorashi
Articles / Reviews
Mousse
"Illusion and Revelation in the Flatlands: The Paintings of Mernet Larsen," by Andrew Bernardini
Articles / Reviews
Los Angeles Times
"Mernet Larsen Probes Perception and Experience," by Sharon Mizota
Articles / Reviews
Huffington Post
"Meet Mernet Larsen, A 75-Year-Old Painter Who's Hosting Her First Art Show In L.A.," by Priscilla Frank
Articles / Reviews
Artforum
"Mernet Larsen at Various Small Fires," by Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer
Articles / Reviews
The New York Times
"Mernet Larsen: ‘Three Chapters’," by Roberta Smith
News
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Museum Exhibition
Vantage Points
July 2 - October 30, 2016
St. Petersburg, FL
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News / Events
Books
image Mernet Larsen
Publication
Mernet Larsen