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Goodbye Oil On Poplar Panel 114.5 X 166.5 Cm, 45 1/8 X 65 5/8 In © Courtesy of the Artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery

11/25-28 Old Burlington Street
London W1S 3AN
United Kingdom
April 27th, 2013 - May 30th, 2013
Opening: April 26th, 2013 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

+44 (0) 20 7494 1434
Tue-Fri 10-6; Sat 11-5 ; Summer Hours: Mon-Fri 10-6 by appointment only


Stephen Friedman Gallery is delighted to announce an exhibition of new paintings by established Swedish artist Mamma Andersson.  

This is the artist’s fourth solo exhibition at the gallery and follows highly acclaimed survey shows at Moderna Museet, Sweden; Camden Arts Centre, UK and Aspen Art Museum, USA.

Born in 1962, Andersson paints from her subconscious, creating complex compositions that bring together a variety of sources including Nordic figurative painting, folk art, personal history and film imagery. Sensuous and transformative, these new paintings show the development of Andersson's recognisable painterly style, populated by ghostly figures amid dreamlike interiors and seemingly calm vistas. 

The title of the exhibition, ‘Gooseberry’, refers to the bittersweet fruit: its complex taste bound by its prickly and yet beautiful translucent exterior. It also draws to mind the English expression ‘to play gooseberry’ whereby someone feels alienated, observing a scene but not being a part of it. Such intertwining and hidden analogies resonate strongly with Andersson who delights in hinted and disjointed narratives. Her paintings invite our reading through their enticing familiarity, and yet deny a specific storyline, much like disparate film stills suspended in time. The viewer becomes an outside voyeur, drawn in to untangle the artist’s vision.  

Andersson takes a collagist approach to her source imagery, drawing from both personal and public spheres. In two complimentary paintings entitled 'Hello’ and ‘Goodbye', Andersson uses a found image of the interior of a burgled clock shop, taken from a photograph of the crime scene. Reflected onto each canvas akin to a Rorschach blot, we see in ‘Hello’ the artist's grandfather approaching us, and in its counterpart her mother is walking away. Andersson states: 'On one side this has come to be a very personal piece, but at the same time it is very general'. 

During her painting process Andersson’s technique changes from meticulous detail to gestural abstraction, as loose washes give way to stark lines, thick impasto and graphic figuration. Inspired by Japanese print-making, she uses oil on board to layer textures and in this exhibition uses broad applications of dark paint. This is seen particularly in ‘Family Ties’ where a group of otherworldly, brooding figures are joined together in a haunting circle dance. Alternating between sparse and concentrated brushstrokes, Andersson conjures up emotive scenarios that speak to the human condition.  

Hallucinatory and enigmatic, the paintings in ‘Gooseberry’ present the artist’s distinct and personal visual language imbued with a sense of mystery and magic.

Mamma Andersson (b. 1962 in Luleå, Sweden) lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden.

Recent solo exhibitions include; ‘Dog Days’, Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld, Germany (2012); ‘One Two’, House of Sweden, Washington, D.C., USA (two-person exhibition with Jockum Nordström) (2011); ‘Mamma Andersson’, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, USA (2010-2011); ‘Cry’, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London; travelling to Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland (2008); ‘Mamma Andersson’ Moderna Museet, Stockholm, travelling to travelling to Camden Arts Centre, London, England, and Helsinki Taidehalli, Helsinki, Finland (2007).

Group exhibitions include; ‘Nightfall: New tendencies in figurative painting’, Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech Republic; ‘In Case We Don’t Die’, The Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, California, USA (2013); ‘150 years of Swedish Art: Highlights from the Swedish National Collections in Stockholm Moderna Museet and Nationalmuseum’, Hillstrom Museum of Art, Minnesota, USA (2012); ‘North by New York: New Nordic Art’, Scandinavia House, New York, USA (2011); ‘Friedrich, Eight Contemporary Commentaries’, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden (2010); ‘In silent conversation with Ingmar Bergman’, Kunstmuseum Thun, Thun, Switzerland (2008); ‘Collecting Collections’, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, USA (2008); ‘S:t Knuts torg’, Ystads Konstmuseum, Ystad, Sweden; ‘Hammer Contemporary Exhibition’, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA (2007) ; ‘Fast Forward: Collections for the Dallas Museum of Art’, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, USA (2007).

The exhibition runs from 27 April to 25 May 2013 in our 25-28 Old Burlington Street gallery.