James Cohan is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Mernet Larsen, on view from December 1 through January 23 at 48 Walker Street. This is Larsen’s third solo exhibition with the gallery. In conjunction with the exhibition’s opening week, the gallery will host a virtual studio visit with the artist and Veronica Roberts, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Blanton Museum of Art, on Friday, December 4 at 2 PM EST. The exhibition will be accompanied by a major retrospective monograph, featuring essays by Veronica Roberts and Susan Thompson, as well as an in-depth interview between Mernet Larsen and Hans Ulrich Obrist.
To book an appointment to visit the exhibition in person, please click here.
To explore the Viewing Room, please click here.
For over six decades, Mernet Larsen has created narrative paintings depicting hard-edged, enigmatic characters that inhabit an uncanny parallel world filled with tension and wry humor. Larsen employs various spatial systems that often contradict: combining reverse, isometric, and conventional perspectives, she casts everyday scenarios into a vertigo-inducing version of reality akin to our own. Drawing from influences that range from the non-objective geometries of Russian Constructivism to Bunraku puppet theater and Indian miniatures, her works take compositional cues from art of the past as springboards for uniquely spatial figure-paintings that speak to the anxieties of the present.
The twelve works in this exhibition belong to the ever-evolving body of narrative painting Larsen has been developing for over twenty years. The paintings in this exhibition excavate the non-objective compositions of El Lissitzky, a central touchstone for Larsen. Using his abstract forms as parameters for free-association, Larsen slowly builds geometric structure into a psychological ordering of representational space to construct what Veronica Roberts calls “some of the most beguiling and psychologically complex narrative paintings of the 21st century.”