The Kumu Art Museum opens a new exhibition: Conductors of Colour. Music and Modernity in Estonian Art

Art Museum of Estonia
Kumu Art Museum
Press release

As of 18 November a new exhibition will be open at Kumu, and it will be dedicated to the relations between music and art, showing visitors a symphony of colours, under the guidance of the curator, Bart C. Pushaw.

From the first song festival through the Singing Revolution and beyond, music has played a fundamental role in Estonian history, culture and identity. But if every bird has its own song, as the Estonian saying goes, what of the artist? What is the role of the painter in a society of “singing people”? This exhibition explores such questions, revealing how music and sound – from the ancient strumming of Vanemuine’s golden kannel and chants of regilaulud to the modern clatter of cafés and the abstraction of the Jazz Age – have transformed modern visual culture in Estonia.

Colour is an expressive tool in the artist’s arsenal, in the same way a composer can express intangible feelings and emotions in melodies. Artists combine brilliant colours with expansive, panoramic views of nature to suggest symphonic grandeur. For instance, critics called Konrad Mägi a “conductor of colour,” who blended brilliant colours harmoniously “with just the flick of a baton”.

The display includes works of art by Julie Hagen-Schwarz, Gerhard Paul von Rosen, Maximilian Maksolly, Kristjan Raud, Oskar Kallis, Konrad Mägi, Nikolai Triik, Eduard Wiiralt, Ado Vabbe, Felix Randel, Märt Laarmann and others. A part of the exhibition is an extensive collage of sounds, videos and photos to captivate different senses.

The exhibition is accompanied by a book about the display.

The exhibition will remain open until 28 August 2017.

Events accompanying the exhibition:

Tours of the exhibition led by the curator, Bart C. Pushaw, in Estonian:

26 November from 4 to 5.30 pm

8 December from 6 to 7.30 pm

17 December from 12 to 5 pm
Christmas Saturday: a day filled with various activities for different target audiences at the exhibition Conductors of Colour

The complete event calendar can be found here.

The press album of the exhibition can be viewed here.

Curator of the exhibition: Bart C. Pushaw
Exhibition coordinator: Liis Pählapuu
Exhibition designers: Kärt Einasto and Joonas Rumvolt
Graphic designer: Kätlin Tischler

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´We thank: Anna Antane, Tuula Friman, Kristina Lupp, Caroline Paganussi, Merit Pai, Roland Papp, Mare Joonsalu and Kadri Mägi (Tartu Art Museum), Maris Rosenthal and Kristiina Kiis (Estonian Theatre and Music Museum), Olga Ivaškevitš and Kadri Tamm (Estonian Literary Museum) and Ilona Raidmaa (Estonian Public Broadcasting)

Recordings, photos and videos used for the exhibition: the Estonian History Museum, Estonian Radio Sound Archive, Estonian Film Archives, Estonian National Museum, Estonian Literary Museum Archive of Estonian Folk Poetry, Tartu Art Museum, and Estonian Theatre and Music Museum