Antique Rugs > Interior Design > Spotlight on Swedish Storytellers: Karin Mamma Andersson

Spotlight on Swedish Storytellers: Karin Mamma Andersson

Swedish carpets employ simple geometry and an employment of folk art motifs in elegant arrangements to create sophisticated, playful, and refreshing arrangements. These carpets include simple patterns and vignettes from everyday life such as bouquets of flowers, a child’s sampler, or a pet dog. Some also include deer, tulip, hearts, people, and various floral motifs. This very Swedish history of elevating everyday life-moments into culturally significant art pieces can be seen throughout the history of Swedish art. It is a prominent feature of Karin Mamma Andersson’s masterfully crafted, evocative paintings. Below are some of our favorite interiors painted by Andersson, each rich with its own harmony, poetic organization, and mystery.

Karin Mamma Andersson

Karin Mamma Andersson “Tick Tock” 2011

Coffee cups on the side table, a crinkled newspaper and white shirt. A simple collection of bedroom things but KMA toys with our vantage point here—by employing a blurred object prominent in the foreground and a subtle blur on the left hand side. We feel as if we’re hiding, or peeping, or in a space that is specifically not ours. KMA works against this de-stabilized feeling by super-grounding the center composition of the painting with the tall plant and the red/gold rug.

karin design

Karin Mamma Andersson “Time Island”

The bed makes this space feel private but the inclusion of so much nature brings the outdoors to mind. The reflection of the two runners has a similar effect, the one on the left is clearly an interior object, a bit formal. The one on the right could almost be water, or a garden, or a road. KMA creates a moment where the floor drops out here—once again letting us feel comfortable for a moment with our recognition of objects, “table”, “bed, “plant”, “rug”, and then playing tricks on us with very smart adjustments.


Karin Mamma Andersson “Touched By Gods” 2002

Benign or sinister… that is the question. “Touched by Gods” is a lovely, inspirational, sweet title- right? But here the “Gods” are clearly depicted on the ground. Above are only fluorescents. We’re in the studio here for sure – the painting of a landscape blocking the actual landscape, very KMA. One has to wonder whether this is Andersson nudging us about the long history of painterly “gifts” and “godly inspiration” (generally associated with male painters) or if it’s a real nod to actual inspiration and energy coming from the floor, the ground, the earth, Nature.


Karin Mamma Andersson “About a Girl” 2005

These women always seem ghostly to me- And is the woman on the right side a nun? And are those religious iconographic paintings on the right wall under Snow White? Is the landscape a mural or a window or is the space just open and out in an arborous field? Is it a secret meeting? Signature KMA is to create innumerable questions for her viewers. She builds the foundation for supposition but really gives us space to construct our own narratives within the structure.

See some further images below:


Karin Mamma Andersson “Saga” 2013


Karin Mamma Andersson “Backbiter I” 2006


Mamma Andersson, Coming Home, 2006


Karin Mamma Andersson “Humdrum Day” 2013

See our extensive collection of Swedish carpets at

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