Mamma Andersson: “In a way this was the most obvious book for me to choose. In 1983 I started working extra as a watchman at Moderna Museet in Stockholm, while studying art. I loved my bywork, walked around in the art history, fantasizing and vegetating. The book shop became a gold mine, where you could find all kinds of interesting stuff. This catalogue/book was brand new at the time. Dick Bengtsson’s exhibitions was one of the first I watched over, not a very big exhibitions, but I found it exciting. It took a few years before I was really taken by his paintings, but when it happened it was with a great hullabaloo.
One could say that his work is the foundation for much of my work. During the 90’s this book became a sort of bible for me, I started every day with a cup of coffee and the Dick Bengtsson catalogue. I sometimes copied paintings that I later painted over, sometimes I stole elements from them to my own work. That’s why it’s so worn out and stained.
Sometimes when I see one of his works I think for a second that it’s one of mine. That’s how much I have internalized his imagery. Weirdly enough, there was no publication about his artistry before this one, and it was more than 20 years until a new one came out. The next one was done in 2005, in conjunction with a large Dick Bengtsson exhibition, also this one at Moderna Museet, this exhibition was much larger, containing most of his works.
For many years he was seen as an outsider artist, an artist for artists, he was an autodidact. His production wasn’t very large, but on the other hand he didn’t become very old, he died in 1989 only 53 years old. Today his position is something else, everyone with the least interest in Swedish painters know about him and his paintings are sold at very high prices.
I’m very happy to get the chance to do this project, so that the book can spread to more art souls, also outside of Sweden.“