Konrad Mägi

Serendipity struck once more, when I was trying to find my way to a Gordon Matta-Clark exhibition at the Eesti Kunstimuuseum and accidentally walked into the room where a collection of landscape paintings by Konrad Mägi was shown.

“Happiness is not for us, sons of a poor land. For us, art is the only way out: at the moment when the soul is filled with life’s eternal suffering, art provides us with that which life cannot offer. There, in art, in our own creation, we can find peace.”

– Konrad Mägi

Maybe it was just my own emotional instability of that particular day that was longing for some soothing existentialist words & works, but within a few minutes I fell completely in love with Mägi and his art. How pain & beauty can be so closely related, how nature can be a place where everything outside of human understanding can be experienced, how art can be the ultimate attempt to express soul and emotion, far beyond words – that afternoon it all really touched me.

At the exhibition a beautiful introductory video showed several artists, critics and curators speaking about Mägi’s work. The way they analyzed his methods and philosophy was fascinating: hardly technical, most of them took an emotional, even spiritual approach. Speaking about soul, angels & demons, love, beauty, life & death.

Standing there in front of the paintings, I felt like they allowed me to somehow connect to an incredibly strong, very personal as well as universal feeling of ambiguity, of pain & beauty as one, of the everyday struggle and joy of being in the world.

I didn’t make it to Matta-Clark that day – but I did find a lot more than what I was looking for.