The history of professional Estonian art is not very long, covering a mere century and a half, which makes its rapid development and radical changes in the early 20th century all the more noteworthy. Estonian artists jumped from academism straight to modernism. The artists who commenced work at the beginning of the 20th century, and their works, which now occupy a well-earned place in the treasury of Estonian art, formed the foundation of the value system that has shaped our cultural history. The works of these artists deserve to be better known, for they contain several layers which have yet to be studied or need to be reviewed from the current perspective.
Konrad Mägi is one of the brightest stars in Estonian art history. Fortunately, over the past few years there have been many opportunities to admire his works at solo exhibitions, as well as at important overview exhibitions, and they hold a permanent place in the display of art from the first half of the 20th century at the Kumu Art Museum, a branch of the Art Museum of Estonia. Konrad Mägi’s oeuvre has represented Estonian art on several occasions in prestigious Western European museums, serving as a bridgehead in introducing Estonian art abroad. Mägi’s shows in Europe have proven that our turn-of-the-century art was not simply the work of peripheral copyists but expressed the world views of independent and mature artists. Konrad Mägi’s oeuvre is a powerful example of the Estonian sense of nature and the Nordic sense of colour.
Author: Eero Epner
Coordinator: Kaidi Saavan
Graphic design and image editing by Kätlin Tischler
Size 21.5 × 28 cm
168 pp., sewn paperback
In Estonian and English, illustrated
Published by the Art Museum of Estonia
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