The Art Portfolio of Mernet Larsen

A painting of two adult figures looking down at a babyAw, acrylic, tracing paper, and oil on canvas

Mernet Larsen is a painter based in both Jackson Heights, New York, and Tampa, Florida. In Florida, Larsen is a Professor Emeritus at the University of South Florida. Larsen’s decades-spanning painting practice centers on depictions of the human figure with a distinctly narrative and highly stylized aesthetic.

A painting of several black-clad figures carrying a body wrapped in red clothIcon, acrylic, tracing paper, and oil on canvas


I really enjoy the way that Larsen composes her images. There’s something cartoonish, almost playful about the artist’s elongated, geometric figures -- many look like they could be dolls or action figures, posed in a set scene. The scenarios that the artist places her figures in, however, often open up more serious points of conversation. Much of the imagery in Larsen’s portfolio since 2000, for example, references religious and sociopolitical themes.


Larsen’s Heads also provide a distinct and unique view of figurative painting. The artist depicts human heads with a geometric, flat-planed aesthetic more commonly reserved for architectural drafting.

A painting depicting a meeting between important dignitariesSituation Room, acrylic and mixed media on canvas

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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