“Sometimes you have to put reason aside and make something beautiful.”
This quote by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer is a favourite of ours, and it felt right to use it in a publication that started life in his home country. Last year, at around this time in fall, we hatched a plan with one of Scandinavia’s most significant artists, Mamma Andersson, to collaborate on the publication you now hold in your hand. She was about to leave to curate an exhibition at one of the largest art biennales in the world, the São Paulo Art Biennial, held in the Ciccillo Matarzo Pavilion, designed by Niemeyer. Mamma Andersson remains for many an enigma. She rarely gives interviews or talks about her process. That changes here with a long-form interview that began just before the biennale, a conversation stretching over one year and three continents with her old friend Greger Ulf Nilson. In this series of encounters she reveals more about her paintings, those dreamlike expressive compositions with a suspenseful cinematic feel. Acclaimed for its psychological depth, the work is imbued with mystery and a certain strangeness. In her candid conversations with Greger we also learn about Mamma’s life with her husband, the artist Jockum Nordström, in Stockholm and on the island of Gotland where they have a summer house.
The paintings by Mamma Andersson on these pages are mostly new works, many of them from the exhibition she curated at the São Paulo Art Biennial. With this publication the intention has been to reveal Andersson’s work in a new context, outside the walls of a gallery, alongside two photographers – Hanna Moon and Martina Hoogland Ivanow – inspired by her universe. As Mamma says of the titles of her works, our wish is “to provide viewers with a platform to direct their thoughts onto a track that they hadn’t thought of...” Hanna Moon, the South Korean artist and fashion photographer, joins Mamma Andersson in Brazil as she installs her exhibition at the 2018 Bienal de São Paulo. Moon’s photographic project is the antithesis of reportage, a personal investigation of her experience of the city. Her confrontational work may appear on first glance to be a million miles from Andersson’s, and yet in its tone, intimate but also unfamiliar and
disturbing, we perhaps trace reverberations of Andersson’s universe.
With her dreamily dark photo-essay the Swedish artist, filmmaker and photographer Martina Hoogland Ivanow documents Mamma Andersson and the island of Gotland where she lives and works during the long light days of the Nordic summer. There is a natural kinship between the two artists – some kind of psychic connection linking the beguiling painterly photographs of Hoogland Ivanow and Andersson’s haunting hypnotic works, a sense of the re-imagining of memory.
One could easily get lost in Mamma Andersson’s world and this publication doesn’t give any clear answers. Being part-monograph, part-magazine we simply hope for the immediate excitement we experience looking at Andersson’s paintings. Inspired by Niemeyer, we decided to put reason aside and, in collaboration with Hanna, Martina, Greger and Mamma, to make something beautiful.
154 pgs, 32 × 25 cm, Softcover, 2019, 978-87-997915-2-1