Stephen Friedman Gallery is pleased to present two separate solo projects by Swedish artist Mamma Andersson and Brazilian artist Tonico Lemos Auad at Frieze London. Both artists have produced new bodies of work especially for the fair. Auad has made a new series of abstract textiles and sculptures that take the form of imagined landscapes, whilst Andersson has completed a group of new paintings that continue her poetic exploration of nature and the passing of time. Both artists are united in capturing a distinct sense of place in their work.
The design of Auad's new textiles are loosely inspired by Derek Jarman's iconic coastal garden at Prospect Cottage in Dungeness. Evoking a psychedelic, cinematic state of mind, Jarman's borderless and roughhewn garden spreads all the way to the distant horizon where sky, sea and shingle meet as one. Such limitless vistas and desert-like colours feature in Auad's work, with architectural forms and distinct borderlines demarcating open areas of woven textile. A new series of totemic wooden sculptures by the artist also take inspiration from Jarman's own sculptures made from driftwood that punctuate his garden with strong vertical striations. In a similar vein, Auad has reclaimed pieces of wood from historic buildings in London and given them new life by playing with traditional modes of carpentry and joinery.
Auad combines a variety of different techniques to make his textiles including knitting, crochet, needle work and weaving. In addition, Auad employs diverse types of yarn: silk, wool, linen, cotton, paper and natural fibres. Working on several works at a time, the genesis of each composition is entirely intuitive. In ‘Vitamin T' (2019), George Vasey (Curator at Wellcome Collection, London) writes that Auad demonstrates an "emotional acuity with his use of colour and material... While his work is often laboriously constructed, there is a refreshing simplicity in the way it looks, reminding us of the potential of the human hand." Auad's works are defined by the process of their making, slowly revealing each individual stitch, crocheted loop and interwoven thread.
Inspired by filmic imagery, theatre sets and period interiors, Mamma Andersson‘s compositions are dreamlike and expressive. Her new body of work comprises a number of melancholic landscapes, an enduring subject matter in the artist's practice that ties both presentations together. ‘Cuckoo Hill' depicts a desolate patch of Nordic countryside with little sign of modern life. Depicted in muted tones of green, yellow and ochre, Andersson imbues the scene with an eerie, uncanny sense of familiarity. Equally mysterious, ‘The Mare Reminds of the Night' features a group of black horses grazing amidst an ominous, blood-red landscape strewn with large boulders. Otherworldly in quality, Andersson leaves the scene entirely open to interpretation by denying the viewer any form of narrative or visual clue. These works are accompanied by four paintings of classical cupids. Stripped of their mythological value and rendered in brooding colours, they are instead presented as ghostly apparitions of a former time in history.
Tonico Lemos Auad was born in 1968 in Belém, capital of Pará in northern Brazil. He now lives and works in London, England. In 2016, Auad was the subject of a major solo exhibition at De La Warr Pavilion in East Sussex, UK. In 2011, a collection of specially commissioned sculptures entitled ‘Carrancas and Reflected Archaeology' were exhibited as part of the Folkestone Triennial, UK. Other recent solo exhibitions include ‘Tonico Lemos Auad', Pivô, curated by Kiki Mazzuchelli, São Paulo, Brazil (2015), ‘Paisagem Noturna', Galeria Luisa Strina, São Paulo, Brazil (2013); ‘Tonico Lemos Auad', Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, UK (2012-2013); ‘Sleep Walkers', Centro Cultural São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil (2011); ‘Epílogo,' Zapopan Museum, Zapopan, Mexico (2010); and Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, Colorado, USA (2007).
Mamma Andersson was born 1962 in Luleå, Sweden. She lives and works in Stockholm. In 2018, Andersson won the Daniel And Florence Guerlain Drawing Prize, a prestigious award honouring a living European artist. She was a co-curator of the current 33rd Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil and her solo exhibition ‘Memory Banks' opened in October 2018 at Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, USA. She will have a solo exhibition at David Zwirner, New York in 2020.
Other notable solo exhibitions include ‘Mamma Andersson' at Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, UK (2017); ‘Tick Tock' at Konsthallen, Luleå, Sweden (2013); ‘Dog Days', Museum Haus Esters, Krefeld, Germany (2012); Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, Colorado, USA (2010) and Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland (2009). In 2007, Andersson was the subject of a critically acclaimed, mid-career survey at Moderna Museet, Stockholm, which travelled to Kunsthalle Helsinki and Camden Arts Centre, London. In 2006, the artist won the Carnegie Art Award, a prestigious prize for Nordic contemporary painting, and she had a corresponding exhibition that travelled extensively in Europe. Her work was represented at the Nordic Pavilion at the 50th Venice Biennale (2003).