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Artist talk: Kristi Kongi (EE) and Jan Van Imschoot (BE)

Artist talk: Kristi Kongi (EE) and Jan Van Imschoot (BE)

Time: 05.07.19  17:00–18:00
Location: Kumu exhibition spaces

On Friday, 5 July at 5 pm, the Estonian artist Kristi Kongi and the Flemish artist Jan Van Imschoot will discuss the theme of contemporary painting at Kumu’s new exhibition Open Collections. The Artist Takes the Floor.

In the conversation, the background of the creative practices of both artists will be revealed, new trends and developments in painting will be looked at, and the meaning, role and potential of painting at the present time will be discussed. What are the conditions and challenges that the contemporary art scene sets for painters active today, and how can a certain autonomy be derived from one’s artistic position in such a context? Moderated by Brigita Reinert.

Kristi Kongi (1985) is an Estonian painter who focuses on colour, light and space in her works: paintings that take the form of installations and are created for specific settings. Her works are characterized by bright tones, often in spectral colours. For Kongi, painting is a way of documenting different spaces and objects of personal importance and thereby capturing time. Her works, often reconstructions of specific places, are closely connected with the mechanisms of emotional memory, offering opportunities for experiencing the colour and light of bygone situations.

Jan Van Imschoot (1963) was born in Ghent and has been living and working in France since 2013. Jan Van Imschoot’s exploration of the possibilities offered by painting have resulted in a body of work that draws its power from highly critical and dramatic themes and contains references to countless artists, from Tintoret to Luc Tuymans, Goya to Matisse. Jan Van Imschoot places his figures, decors and narratives on history’s margins, using assembled perspectives, strong tones, bodies in motion and brushwork he describes as “anarcho-baroque”. His work delves into a number of recurring motifs: freedom, censorship and the violence of political and ideological systems.

Open Collections. The Artist Takes the Floor is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Art Museum of Estonia. The curator sent invitations to participate to a guest curator and Estonian and international artists, who have helped celebrate the centennial of the Art Museum of Estonia by creating added value and a more diverse cultural context for the museum’s collection with their own works. The exhibition is meant to inspire a dialogue between contemporary artists and artistic heritage and to highlight the increasing role of contemporary art in the formation of new art historical concepts.

Curator: Eha Komissarov

Exhibition view of Kristi Kongi’s solo exhibition „Mapping the jungle“ (2018, curator Leslie Moody Castro). Karen Huber Gallery, Mexico City. Courtesy of the artist