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Mamma Andersson: The Lost Paradise

This volume celebrates a new body of work by Swedish artist Mamma Andersson—melancholic, evocatively colored paintings that explore femininity, fantasy, and memory.

Andersson’s works embody a new genre of landscape painting that recalls late nineteenth-century romanticism while also embracing a contemporary interest in layered, psychological compositions. Her panoramic scenes draw inspiration from a wide range of archival photographic source materials, filmic imagery, theater sets, and period interiors, as well as the sparse topography of northern Sweden, where she grew up. The paintings utilize a selection of motifs from throughout her career: barren branches and thick-barked pine trees, domestic interiors, horses, and young women. Resembling still lifes, they further a tradition of quiet, dreamlike domestic scenes by Scandinavian artists such as Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864–1916) and Edvard Munch (1863–1944). Part of a self-conscious effort to capture an experience rather than a specific event, the compositions are freer and more abstract.
 
Splendid color reproductions bring the textured brushstrokes, loose washes, and stark graphic lines to life on the page. The book also features a new essay by critically acclaimed author Karl Ove Knausgaard. The Lost Paradise is published on the occasion of an eponymous exhibition presented at David Zwirner, New York, in 2020.

Mamma Andersson was born in 1962 in Lulea, Sweden. She studied from 1986 to 1993 at the Kungl Konsthogskolan in Stockholm, where she continues to live and work.