Konrad Mägi: Meditation (Lady in a Landscape), 1915–1916. Oil on canvas. © Art Museum of Estonia
Konrad Mägi: Meditation (Lady in a Landscape), 1915–1916. Oil on canvas. © Art Museum of Estonia

29.09.2021 - 23.01.2022

Konrad Mägi – The Enigma of Painting

The exhibition presents a broad selection of works by Estonian pioneer of modernism Konrad Mägi (1878–1925). It includes a significant number of Mägi’s surviving paintings, some 150 works in all. In addition to landscapes, the show includes a selection of Mägi’s finest portraits.

Mägi created his first canvases in Åland, having previously studied in St Petersburg. He also briefly studied at the Ateneum in Helsinki. His later travels took him to France, Norway, Germany and Italy and back to Estonia. Mägi was a cosmopolitan who painted what he saw, felt and learned on his travels. He used different forms of expression freely, always using different ways to paint different natural scenes. Mägi differs from many of his contemporaries through his bold use of colour. The idiosyncratic Mägi has, in fact, no comparison in the history of European modernism. Today we are ready to include talents from the periphery to such accounts of the past, thereby widening our understanding of the art of modern era.

Nature was Mägi’s primary inspiration. It was a source of strength and a tool for exploring the potential of painting, the human condition and the mystery of life beyond visible reality. Instead of creating a likeness of the real world, Mägi focused on how to paint and how to express things that could only be communicated in painting. In his fascinating portraits, Mägi’s primary objective was to create a compelling painting. Mägi’s paintings forces portraiture out of the genre’s dusty cabinets.

It has been a pleasure to curate an exhibition that, for the first time and to this extent outside Estonia, showcases the uniqueness of Konrad Mägi’s art. The artist’s ties to Finland have also been a powerful motivator for making Mägi accessible to Finnish audiences.

Espoo, 28 September 2021

Pilvi Kalhama, Exhibition Curator

  • 29.09.2021 - 23.01.2022
  • 2. floor
  • 12€ / Adults

    0€ / Under 18s and over 70s

Book a guided tour in Estonian to the Konrad Mägi exhibition

You can now book guided tours also in Estonian to the exhibition Konrad Mägi – The Enigma of Painting. Estonian-language tours are available on Wednesdays from 16–19 and on Saturdays from 11–17.

Fill in the booking form here. Indicate your wish to have the tour in Estonian in the field titled Remarks or wishes for the guide.

Documentary about Konrad Mägi

 

Duration: 37 min 3 s
Made for Konrad Mägi exhibition in the Art Museum of Estonia (2018–19)
Director: Jekaterina Abramova
Produced by Konrad Mägi Foundation 2019

Konrad Mägi

 

Duration: 19 min 57 s
Made for Konrad Mägi exhibition The Light of the North in Musei Reali Torino (2019–20)
Director: Marianne Kõrver
Produced by Konrad Mägi Foundation 2019

  • Konrad Mägi: Norwegian Landscape with a Pine, 1908-10. Oil on canvas. © Art Museum of Estonia

  • Konrad Mägi: Norwegian Landscape, 1908–10. Oil on canvas. © Art Museum of Estonia

  • Konrad Mägi: On the Road from Viljandi to Tartu, 1915-1916. Oil on canvas. © Art Museum of Estonia

  • Konrad Mägi: Portrait of Elsi Lõo, 1915. Oil on canvas. © Art Museum of Estonia

  • Konrad Mägi: Saaremaa Motif, 1913. Oil on canvas. © Art Museum of Estonia

  • Konrad Mägi: Landscape in Lake Pühäjärv, ca, 1920. Oil on canvas. © Art Museum of Estonia

  • Konrad Mägi © Art Museum of Estonia

  • Konrad Mägi: Portrait of Alide Asmus, 1912-1913. Oil on canvas. © Tartu Art Museum

  • Konrad Mägi: Blooming Branches, 1917-1920. Oil on canvas. © Enn Kunila’s art collection

  • Konrad Mägi: Lake Saadjärv Landscape, 1923-1924. Oil on canvas. © Tartu Art Museum

  • Konrad Mägi: Italian Landscape, 1922-23. Oil on canvas. © Enn Kunila’s art collection

  • Konrad Mägi: Ruins in Capri, 1922-23. Oil on canvas. © Art Museum of Estonia

Curating:
Pilvi Kalhama

Project Management:
Pilvi Kalhama & Inka Laine

Exhibition Design:
Milla Rissanen

A warm thank-you to the exhibition’s partners and lenders:

Art Museum of Estonia

Tartu Art Museum

Under and Tuglas Literature Centre of the Estonian Academy of Sciences

Konrad Mägi Foundation

Enn Kunila’s art collection

Private collection

Estonian Embassy in Helsinki

Tuglas Society