Mernet Larsen‘s paintings are really odd. Beguiling. The most geometric paintings I’ve seen in a long time. Remind me of de Chirico, old Soviet posters and sci-fi robot pictures in old comic books. Larson herself is 72 years old and has been painting for well over 50 years, her practice having changed a great deal over the past half century; from figurative to abstraction and to what one might now call geometric figuration – these rather strange images that eschew perspective, have multiple points of view, a subtle palette and a rather peculiar treatment of surfaces.
Larsons exhibition has been divided into three parts, called ‘Three Chapters; ‘Heads and Bodies’, ‘Places’ and ‘Narratives’. Only ‘Narratives’ is still on show. Her recent work has been described as:
Using modernist Russian constructivist paintings as a point of departure for numerous compositions, she also engages ideas of reverse perspective and conflicting vanishing points, as can be found in Japanese narrative scrolls. Her pool of inspirations is vast, ranging from masterpieces of Renaissance through 20th century art, to traditional Japanese puppet theatre, to photographs she has taken of classrooms and faculty meetings during her 35-year long Professorship in Florida
In the press release from the gallery her working process is described as thus:
In fact she often works with tracing paper cutouts that she paints on and then glues onto the canvas while leaving pencil marks of the underlying composition visible. Hard edges are juxtaposed with naturalistically painted features such as hands, ears, feet or tree trunks. The image presents itself in disorienting, even vertiginous perspective that sometimes distorts the figures.
I think you can see why I decided to post up these pictures. They are truly unique. Quite different from the abstract work you generally see on this blog and If you happen to be in New york anytime up to 27th October you’ll still have time to catch the third part of her exhbition, ‘Narratives’ at The Vogt Gallery, 2nd floor, 526 W 26th Street, New York.
Via Beautiful Decay
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