Le Charme Discret

Discover the exhibition ‘Le Charme Discret’ and see the digital opening from the store.

“I can’t get enough of beautiful carpets and textiles – materials like thick mohair velvet and bright, shimmering silk. Colour compositions in unexpected harmonies and discords. It’s like painting and playing with a dollhouse at the same time.”

– Karin Mamma Andersson

Shown at Strandvägen 5 25.08.2021 – 24.10.2021

Karin Mamma Andersson’s personal works of art come alive in this year’s autumn exhibition at Svenskt Tenn. Her narrative images, which are often based on her own experiences, are hanging for the first time in a visualised home environment in a place where she herself could imagine living.

As an artist, Mamma Andersson depicts interiors that come to life, bare landscapes and scenes from daily life. She portrays and reuses time in creations that evoke emotions, curiosity and wonder. The exhibition Le Charme Discret showcases the art together with her new collection created exclusively for Svenskt Tenn.

Le Charme Discret Exhibition with Mamma Andersson for Svenskt Tenn

Mamma Andersson moved to Stockholm in the late spring of 1983 to study sculpture at the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, but already after a year she realised that she would be changing direction.

“I understood early on that it was always painting that pulled me in and I guess it was primarily about the colours. Sculpturing felt a little too complicated and slow, so I applied to Gerlesborg School of Fine Art where I studied for two years before starting at the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design. I soon began working extra as a guard at the National Museums as well. Those years at Moderna Museet and the Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities were very important for my development as an artist.”

During that same period, Mamma Andersson went into Svenskt Tenn’s store on Strandvägen in Stockholm for the first time. It was the beginning of a fascination that has lasted for decades.

“For some reason, Svenskt Tenn became the place that I secretly went to see the beautiful life, to get a particular kind of inspiration. I visited the store for nearly 20 years without ever buying anything because I couldn’t afford it, but that wasn’t the point of the visits,” she says.

Above all, it was Josef Frank who caught her interest; especially all of his fabrics, but Estrid Ericson also made an impression over the years.

“Josef Frank’s textiles have a boldness, playfulness and a fantastic skilfulness. For me, colour and pattern are among the basics when it comes to painting. Many painters are obsessed with textiles, which is completely natural. Henri Matisse, who collected Suzani embroidery, is one example. Estrid Ericson has interested me more and more over the years, especially her eye for the beautiful and elegant, and her ability to gather both sophisticated and simple items. She was really ahead of her time.”

Picture from the Exhibition 'Le Charme Discret' with Mamma Andersson for Svenskt Tenn

For the autumn of 2021, Karin Mamma Andersson has created an interior design collection exclusively for Svenskt Tenn and curated the exhibition, both named Le Charme Discret.

“The tea set and the throw blanket were my entryway into the collaboration. I thought then that the cup would sit together with my woodcuts and the blanket would be a dim autumn landscape in wool. What was originally intended as a small project grew and became an extensive exhibition, where I have an entire installation with my own work that I’ve composed with fabrics and furniture from Svenskt Tenn as well as carpets and other items from elsewhere. Oddly enough, it was virtually impossible for me to use Josef Frank’s patterned fabrics in the exhibition as it didn’t go with my colour scheme and my expressions,” says Mamma Andersson.

Picture of the Collection 'Le Charme Discret' by Mamma Andersson for Svenskt Tenn

The name “Le Charme Discret” or “The Discreet Charm” comes from the title of Luis Bunuel’s 1972 film, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie.

“The exhibition is primarily a game and a way to poke fun at myself,” says Mamma Andersson. “It’s about my desire and longing for the aesthetics of the bourgeoisie. I feel a little out of my element, but I still love it.”


The exhibition is on display at Svenskt Tenn until October 24th 2021.

The exhibition on Strandvägen 5

Find pictures from the Exhibition 'Le Charme Discret' with Mamma Andersson for Svenskt Tenn

Selected products

from the exhibition