The exhibition Konrad Mägi – Estonia’s Great Painter was opened in Lillehammer

An extensive retrospective exhibition of Konrad Mägi’s (1878–1925) oeuvre was opened at the Lillehammer Kunstmuseum in Norway on 26 November.

As she opened the exhibition, Sirje Karis, the First Lady of Estonia, observed that the exposition is a good example of interaction and cooperation between different cultures. ‘It is difficult to measure its effect, yet it nevertheless broadens our outlook and enriches life. I too looked at Konrad Mägi’s Norwegian landscapes in a different way here in Norway,’ remarked Sirje Karis.

‘Culture and art develop in penetrating introspection as well as in contact with other cultures. Konrad Mägi is an excellent example of how contact with varied cultures affects art,’ said Sirje Karis.

‘I have been asked what makes Konrad Mägi special. That can be clearly perceived. He captures something essential regarding life, something universal that transcends time. He is always fresh and does not fade. He has an effect on people. That is miraculous.’

Portrait of a Norwegian Girl. 1909. Oil on canvas. Tartu Art Museum

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.

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.

The exhibition contains around 120 paintings from various periods, among them many of his main works. 

The exhibition is co-produced by the Art Museum of Estonia, the Lillehammer Kunstmuseum and the Espoo Museum of Modern Art EMMA. It is curated by the director of the Lillehammer Kunstmuseum, Nils Ohlsen, and Pilvi Kalhama from EMMA.

The exhibition Konrad Mägi – Estonia’s Great Painter will be open until 2 April 2023.