Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Featured Item from THE LIST for Art Fair Week: Mernet Larsen at The Armory Show


Various Small Fires, the Los Angeles gallery, has a solo show of preparatory sketches by Tampa, Florida-based painter Mernet Larsen in the Presents section of The Armory Show 2017. Larsen, who also has a work on view at James Cohan Gallery’s booth at the same fair, has only recently come into her own since retiring from a distinguished career in art education, memories of which pervade her frequent return to the motif of the faculty meeting. Rooted in an earlier abstract practice as well as explorations of Japanese prints, Larsen’s jocular imagery thinly disguises her fascination with unconventional perspective systems. She pursues radical spatial solutions that eschew conventional single-point perspective in favor of parallel perspective, reverse perspective and eccentric, seemingly improvised but in fact rigorous fusions of different systems within the same work. By destabilizing the location of the viewer, sometimes indeed to the point of inducing vertigo, she forces us to know, rather than merely see, the situation. DAVID COHEN