Konrad Mägi: Estonia’s Great Painter
An extensive retrospective exhibition of Konrad Mägi’s (1878–1925) oeuvre is opening at the Lillehammer Art Museum in Norway. This is the third and last chapter of the exhibition of works by Konrad Mägi curated by Pilvi Kalhama, which has previously been exhibited at the Espoo Museum of Modern Art EMMA in 2021, and at the Copenhagen Art Center GL Strand in 2022.
Big at home
Konrad Mägi is doubtless Estonia’s greatest artist of his generation. In Estonia he has the same status as Edvard Munch has in Norway.
Mägi’s art is marked by colourful, audacious and modern paintings depicting Estonia, Italy, France and Norway. The exhibition contains around 120 paintings from various periods, among them many of his main works. Mägi’s art is of high quality and his motifs range from airy landscapes to individual portraits to flowery still life paintings.
Fresh and thrilling
Konrad Mägi’s paintings are surprisingly independent, while at the same time showing connections to leading international developments around 1910–1920, for instance neoimpressionism and its characteristic pointillist painting technique, as well as expressionism and cubism. Due to this richness, his art is still very fresh and thrilling.
Mägi is especially interesting for the Norwegian public, since he lived there between 1908–1910. Mägi was excited about Norwegian nature and painted many landscapes around Oslo and Kongsberg. Norwegian painter Christian Krohg invited Mägi to participate in one of his exhibitions in Christiania. This show was the start of Mägi’s breakthrough as an artist.
The exhibition is co-produced by the Art Museum of Estonia, the Lillehammer Art Museum and the Espoo Museum of Modern Art EMMA. It is curated by the director of the Lillehammer Art Museum, Nils Ohlsen, and Pilvi Kalhama from EMMA.
Partners and sponsors:
Tartu Art Museum, Estonian Student Society, Viljandi Museum, Under and Tuglas Literature Centre of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, Enn Kunila’s Art Collection, Konrad Mägi Foundation and private collections.