Jody Zellen reviews the recent exhibition Mernet Larsen: Chainsawer, Bicyclist, and Reading in Bed at Various Small Fires, Los Angeles.
Zellen writes: "Larsen’s paintings have a purposeful naiveté, a quality that is also prevalent in the works of younger painters including Jonas Wood and Avery Singer, who are known for works that flatten space and figures. The figures and the world they inhabit are somewhat reminiscent of Edwin Abbott’s novella Flatland, a story about cultural hierarchies and class, subjects that also inhabit Larsen’s paintings. To this end, the perspective in Larsen’s work is often intentionally wrong—forms and figures do not recede in a realistic fashion—making the depictions of natural, urban and domestic spaces unsettling and claustrophobic. Each figure is a quasi-robot comprised of interlocking rectangles styled to represent heads, hair, arms, legs and other body parts."