Mernet Larsen


The title of Mernet Larsen’s show, “Things People Do,” is as deadpan as her blocky, vertigo-inducing paintings. Larsen, based in Tampa, Fla., has been painting and teaching for decades, but her work has only begun popping up in New York and Los Angeles in the last few years. This show is her first with James Cohan. In an artist statement on her website, Larsen explains that her “characters and objects are geometric solids, their structures and proportions reinvented in tension with the event depicted.” This tension, often accomplished by a disorienting use of reverse perspective, can be seen in paintings like Reading in Bed (2015), where the bed narrows toward the foreground as if sloping but the couple in it doesn’t tumble off, or Punch (2016), where a circular table is a gathering place for five people, three of whom remain anchored to it while hanging upside down. —Leigh Anne Miller


Pictured: Mernet Larsen: Reading in Bed, 2015, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 60 by 38¼ inches. Courtesy the artist and James Cohan, New York.