The Unknown Konrad Mägi

Tartu Art Museum is pleased to present two completely unknown paintings by Konrad Mägi. The works will be on display from 13 October in the exhibition The Unknown Konrad Mägi in the museum’s project space. The paintings belong to a private collection so we recommend using this rare opportunity to see them with one’s own eyes. The exhibition is open until 6 November 2016.

Mägi, a favourite artist among the Estonian audiences, has been the subject of rather thorough research. The first study was published in 1932 by Rudolf Paris, this was followed by Evi Pihlak’s monograph in 1979 and by Maie Raitar’s book in 2011, containing plenty of imagery and archival material. Raitar’s aim was to identify and reproduce as many works as possible, creating a feeling in the reader that we now know everything about the art of Konrad Mägi.
Yet it was possible that one day two works were brought to the museum that have not been mentioned in previous literature and that no one has seen before. For years the paintings have been kept on the wall of someone’s home and lately even behind a cupboard, to keep them safe from the family’s children.
Especially remarkable is the enchanting landscape painting with figures in shades of blue. Konrad Mägi usually preferred landscapes without people and the human figure has now and then occurred only on the views of Southern countries. However, the present motif is quite certainly an Estonian one. It is probably a landscape of lake Pühajärv. The second painting is a beautiful seaside view which was probably painted on the island of Saaremaa, possibly in the summer of 1920 when Konrad Mägi spent time in Kuressaare to improve his health.

Curator: Mare Joonsalu
Exhibition team: Merli-Triin Eiskop, Margus Joonsalu, Hanna-Liis Kont, Kristel Sibul, Peeter Talvistu, Ago Teedema
Graphic design: Jaan Evart
The restoration works were carried out by Alar Nurkse and Maris Klaas from the Art Museum of Estonia.

Media coverage

S. Kivi, Tartus näeb kahte seni tundmatut Konrad Mäe maali. – AK uudised, 11. X 2016, http://r2.err.ee/v/agenda/archive/d441c56b-380b-488e-87a7-979a88cf560d/grusiinid-klassikud-ja-kadumine-tartus