Mernet Larsen

American, b. 1940



Acrylic, graphite, charcoal, and collage on canvas

Gift of Eric Lang Peterson in honor of Museum Director John E. Schloder for a decade of growth (2001–2010)


Larsen painted in a photorealistic style until turning towards abstraction after a 1987 trip to Japan, where she was inspired by the sensuality, space, and compositions of Japanese emaki (picture scrolls). In its acute angles and strange perspective, Mall is derived from a street view in the 12th century The Tale of Genji scroll. The strip of gold at the top also references the Genji scroll.

Larsen purposely creates tension between volume and space in her work. The lively and intense color, fused with the texture of the canvas, challenges the viewer to process a multitude of colliding elements simultaneously.

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