Mamma Andersson's paintings of landscapes and interiors are at once comforting and ominous. Her paintings of cold landscapes containing white birch trees and soothing scenes of schoolchildren in their classrooms are often imbued with a sense of mystery and magic. The viewer is instantly made aware that within the familiar scenes depicted by Andersson, something forgotten or foreboding is lurking in the background. Scenery becomes ghost-like
and surreal, figurative images become frightening yet calming.
Infused with potent symbolism, historical references, spells and myths, Andersson's paintings entice the viewer into a strange world that lies somewhere in the unconscious. The supernatural atmosphere of Andersson's work is reinforced technically through thick layers of paint that are often juxtaposed with mysterious, blacked-out areas. The sense that there is something beyond the painting is constant in all her works where multiple meanings overlap and amalgamate. Throughout Andersson's practice, Swedish folk stories and traditional myths coexist with universally recognisable daily activities. These paintings constantly challenge our everyday assumptions and appeal to our senses on a multitude of levels.
Mamma Andersson has exhibited in Europe and America. Recent shows include, Devil-May- Care in the Nordic Pavilion, 50th Venice Biennale in 2003; Huts, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin; The Undiscovered Country, UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; MATRIX 213, UC Berkeley Art Museum, San Francisco; and the 3rd Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, Berlin, all in 2004. This year Andersson participated in the 54th Carnegie International exhibition, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh. In 2007 Andersson will have a mid-career exhibition at the Moderna Museet, Stockholm which will travel in Europe.