Swedish painter Karin ‘Mamma’ Andersson is known for her evocative compositions where people seem to be caught in difficult situations in a melancholic landscape that borders on abstraction. The meditative quality of her paintings and their dream-like atmosphere align her with the rich tradition of early twentieth century Nordic romantic landscape painting.
Andersson studied at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm where she adopted the name ‘Mamma’ that she still uses. She first focused on landscape as a subject for her art because that is what she saw when she was pushing her two little children in their carriage.
While Andersson frequently bases her compositions on photographs and pictures from publications, her paintings do not directly copy this source material. Rather they form the basis of her rich but uncertain narratives.
In her 2011 painting “Night Guest” several figures gather before a rural house under a dark blue night sky. We don’t know what is happening, but this composition was inspired by a photograph taken after the plane crash that killed Swedish Secretary-General of the United Nations Dag Hammarskjold. It was thought that his plane was shot down over Zambia while he was en route to negotiate a cease-fire with possible C.I.A. involvement. While there is no explicit connection in this painting to Hammarskjold’s death, there is a mystery here with sinister connotations.
Andersson has been included in group exhibitions in New York, Stockholm, Switzerland, and Los Angeles’s MOCA. She has had solo exhibitions in Colorado, Dublin, Stockholm, and London.
Her works are held in collections in Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, and Stockholm.