The work of Swedish artist Mamma Andersson often draws inspiration from a wide range of archival photographic source materials, filmic imagery, theater sets, and period interiors. Her paintings employ a broad range of techniques, deftly shifting between stark graphic lines to loose washes and thickly rendered brushstrokes. With their richly detailed and complex surfaces, the artist's works stand as a testament to her deep engagement with the painterly process itself. Her evocative use of pictorial space conveys a sense of timelessness, which is further enhanced by a conspicuous absence of contemporary signifiers. Her subject matter frequently revolves around melancholic landscapes and nondescript, private interiors; yet when human figures are included, a narrative is never explicit.
Andersson was born in 1962 in Luleå, Sweden. She studied from 1986 to 1993 at the Royal University College of Fine Arts in Stockholm, where she continues to live and work.
Since 2004, Andersson's work has been represented by David Zwirner. Behind the Curtain marked her third solo exhibition at the gallery in New York, on view January through February 2015. Previous shows include Who is sleeping on my pillow (2010), a two-person exhibition with Jockum Nordström, and Rooms Under the Influence (2006), which marked the artist's United States debut.
In 2018-2019, a solo presentation of Andersson’s work titled Memory Banks was on view at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 2011, the artist’s work was the subject of a solo exhibition at Museum Haus Esters in Krefeld, Germany. She had her first museum solo show in the United States at the Aspen Art Museum, Colorado in 2010, and her first solo exhibition in Ireland at the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin in 2009. In 2007, a critically acclaimed, mid-career survey of her work was organized by Moderna Museet, Stockholm, which traveled to Kunsthalle Helsinki and the Camden Arts Centre, London.
In 2006, the artist won the Carnegie Art Award, a prestigious prize for Nordic contemporary painting, which received a corresponding exhibition that traveled extensively throughout Europe. Her work was also represented in the Nordic Pavilion at the 50th Venice Biennale, Dreams and Conflicts – The Viewer’s Dictatorship, in 2003.
Work by the artist is represented in museum collections that include the Dallas Museum of Art; Göteborgs Konstmuseum, Gothenburg, Sweden; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall; Malmö Konstmuseum, Sweden; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Public Art Council, Stockholm; and Västerås Konstmuseum, Sweden.