Art & the Artist

Swedish Contemporary Artist: Karin “Mamma” Andersson

Inspiration is everywhere for Swedish painter Karin “Mamma” Andersson, who credits nature and art alike for igniting the creative vision of her works

“To make a concentrated feeling for something, you have to reduce it to the few small things that can tell a story,” says Karin “Mamma” Andersson. “Then you can make your own history.” Inspired by film and theater, Andersson – born 1962 – is a visual storyteller and one of Sweden’s most highly priced contemporary artists. Her figurative compositions depicting landscapes, interiors, relationships, and dramas are housed in notable collections worldwide.

Subtly otherworldly, using a palette of muted earth tones, her artwork was commissioned to accompany playwright Harold Pinter’s Nobel Prize for Literature diploma in 2005, and won her the Carnegie Art Award the year after. Andersson lives and works in Stockholm with her artist husband Jockum Nordström.


Huggermugger, 2013. Copyright Karin “Mamma” Andersson. Courtesy Karin “Mamma” Andersson and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London. Photo Stephen White

Backdrop, 2013. Copyright Karin “Mamma” Andersson. Courtesy of Karin “Mamma” Andersson and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London. Photo: Stephen White

Words: Katherine Cowdrey. Portrait: Ylva Sundgren / Press Association Images 2007