Louisiana Museum of Modern Art opens an exhibition of works by Mamma Andersson

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Louisiana Museum of Modern Art opens an exhibition of works by Mamma Andersson
Mamma Andersson, About a Girl, 2005. Diptych, Acrylic and oil on two panels, each 61 x 160 cm, total 121,9 x 160,7. Michael Storåkers Collection © Mamma Andersson. Photo: Johann Bergenholtz. Courtesy of the artist, Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Stephen Friedman Gallery and David Zwirner.

HUMLEBÆK.- Mamma Andersson ranks as one of the most important painters of her generation. The exhibition at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is the first major presentation of Mamma Andersson’s work in Denmark and her first large-scale show at a Nordic museum in several years. The artist has made 10 new works especially for the exhibition, which is on view in Louisiana’s East Wing.

Over the years, the art of Mamma Andersson (b. 1962) has been tied together by distinctive subject matter and painterly moves: The Nordic landscape with steep slopes, pine forests and a unique, high-contrast light. Dolls, often standing in for people, giving the painting a coagulated, object-like look. Back-turned figures with hidden faces adding mystery to the picture. And the colour black, often in many nuances and materials, sprayed on or roughly applied, creating a distinct darkness in the painting that the artist herself associates with death.

Featuring close to 60 works, Humdrum Days was created in close collaboration with the artist. Designed as a survey, the exhibition cuts across chronology, highlighting Mamma Andersson’s main artistic devices and providing a comprehensive introduction to her central subject matter.

Marie Laurberg, curator of the exhibition: “Mamma Andersson is an eminent interpreter of the unique language of painting. With a sharp sense of mood, colour and materiality, she has developed a personal take on the classical genres of painting. Still lifes, interiors and landscapes are at the crux of her work, executed with powerful colours and a distinctive rawness that situates her work in the artistic here and now.

“There is an almost cinematic suspense to many of her paintings. A scenic sense of a place where something is going to happen or has just happened. The unique atmosphere of her landscapes is built on source imagery, including archive photos of crime scenes, whose mood she masterfully transfers to the canvas.”

An aesthetic of repeat applications

Painting is at the centre of Mamma Andersson’s work. Her pictures open a universe of expressive and emotionally loaded stories: Sweeping landscapes with trees dissolving before your eyes. Interiors with fields of paint abruptly opening views into other worlds. Portraits of back-turned figures avoiding your gaze. Black holes sending your eye into free fall.

Mamma Andersson composes her paintings from a wealth of art-historical references and found photos, films and historical clippings. They are paintings on top of paintings, pictures on top of pictures. Everything in the finished works is filtered through her singular artistic eye. Both dryly observant and colourfully poetic, from this vision a new world emerges.

Technically, Mamma Andersson combines several different materials in her works. Her signature aesthetic is the result of repeated applications and overpainting. Oil on canvas is covered in spray paint, paint is dragged in thin bands across the surface, producing a material fullness and variation showcasing her skill.

Reaffirming Louisiana's commitment to painting, this presentation of Mamma Andersson’s work follows shows by other artists of her generation, including Cecily Brown, Daniel Richter and Peter Doig.

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