Reading Tolstoy in bed. Exercising on a sea foam green mat. Enjoying pizza and beer with old friends. These are the humdrum subjects crystallized in Mernet Larsen’s paintings. Through Larsen’s gaze, the everyday happenings stretch and warp into uncanny structures you vaguely recognize but can’t quite pinpoint. Staring at a painting feels like dreaming about an old friend, yet envisioning him with an altogether different face.
Mernet Larsen, at 75 years old, has only recently begun to show her work outside her home state of Florida. The artist has been painting avidly since the 1960s, and has served as an art professor at the University of South Florida since 1967. In 2012, Roberta Smith reviewed her exhibition at Vogt Gallery in New York, contending “her efforts are extremely viable participants in an extensive, possibly global conversation about how to portray modern, three-dimensional life on two-dimensional