Rooms Under the Influence
Opening on May 8, 2006, David Zwirner is pleased to present the first U.S. solo exhibition by Swedish painter Mamma Andersson. Among the artist's current and upcoming exhibitions are Essential Painting at the National Museum of Art in Osaka, Japan; Back to the Figure–Contemporary Painting at Die Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung in Munich, Germany; Zones of Contact: 15th Biennale of Sydney in Sydney, Australia; and The Moderna Exhibition 2006 at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden (all 2006). Recent exhibitions include The Carnegie International at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA (2004); The Undiscovered Country at UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, CA (2004-2005); and MATRIX 213: Some Forgotten Place at UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, CA (2004). Andersson represented Scandinavia in the 2003 Venice Biennale and is the recipient of the highly prestigious 2006 Carnegie Art Award for Nordic art, with a corresponding exhibition that will travel extensively in Europe. In 2007, Andersson will have a mid-career exhibition at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden.
Mamma Andersson's paintings seem to embody a duality that is central to Swedish culture: the interplay of rural and urban aesthetics and the clash of the bourgeois with the everyday. Inspired by theater sets and period interiors, her dreamlike compositions are populated by ghostly figures, shadows, swirling clouds and distant mountains. Andersson's use of windows, reflections, and depictions of paintings within the pictorial space is enhanced by the juxtaposition of thick paint and textured washes, creating a setting for vaguely supernatural occurrences. Seemingly pastoral vistas and calm interiors are sometimes violently interrupted by thick black smoke or blocked-out areas–this, coupled with a palette reminiscent of distressed photographs, imbues Andersson's works with an unpredictability that is equally disturbing and compelling.