Kristi Kongi

installation, painting

Kristi Kongi (born 1985) is a painter and installation artist whose work focuses on colour, light, and space. Her bright coloured paintings often take the form of impressive installations made for specific settings creating effect that Estonian art critic Elnara Taidre described as “painting within a painting” or meta-painting. Besides painting on canvas, walls, floors and ceilings, she also uses various coloured materials such as fabric, plywood and acrylic plastic to create her installations. Her works are based on specific or imagined places, and her observations, emotions and memories. Kristi Kongi is using thorough research and experiments in painting where she trials various colours, light and shade. Artist refers to these experiments as “Exercises with the moon”. Her work is both poetic – this is also expressed in the titles – as well as systematic and analytical.

Kristi Kongi studied painting at Tartu Art College (2004–2008) and completed her master’s degree in painting at the Estonian Academy of Arts (2008–2011). She has been awarded the Young Artist Prize (2011), Sadolin Art Prize (2013), Konrad Mägi Prize (2017) and in 2016 was nominated for the Köler Prize. Kristi Kongi is an associate professor in the painting department at the Estonian Academy of Arts. Occasionally she also works as a curator and exhibition designer.

See also Kristi Kongi on artists database of CCA (Estonian Centre for Contemporary Art)

Press and Publications


Aberration. Exercises with light and shadow
Kristi Kongi (ed.), 2017.

Artists’ Spaces
Annika Toots and Merilin Talumaa (eds.),
Estonian Art Academy Press, 2017.

I haven’t moved my head from the pillow
Kristi Kongi,Indrek Sirkel and Anu Vahtra (eds.)Lugemik, 2015.

Can’t go on. Must go on
Compiled by artists, exhibition catalogue, 2014.

Dear, I’m a Painting / Always Yours Blue Lagoon
Kati Ilves and Merike Estna (eds.), exhibition catalogue, 2014.


In English

The tour de force that is Kristi Kongi’s world of colours. Elnara Taidre looks at Kristi Kongi’s painting practice of recent years.
Magazine of Art and Visual Culture KUNST.EE, 3/2021.

Photo reportage from the exhibition Let me dream once more at Narva Museum Art Gallery.
EchoGoneWrong. 25.01.2021.

A Visual Essay on Today’s Colours
Visual essay by Kristi Kongi. Estonian Art 1/2019.

Photo reportage from the exhibition by Kristi Kongi and Mari-Leen Kiipli at the Kogo gallery 
Echo Gone Wrong. 22.11.2018.

Kristi Kongi and Kasper Bosmans at Kumu Art Museum
Art Viewer. 08.10.2018.

The pictorial world of Kristi Kongi
Severine Grosjean.  VHMOR. 08.07.2018.

Kristi Kongi’s Room of Nostalgia
Kati Ilves. Magazine of Art and Visual Culture KUNST.EE, 2/2015.

Kristi Kongi: I do enjoy long contemplation and pondering over things
Andreas Trossek. Magazine of Art and Visual Culture in Estonia KUNST.EE. 1/2014.

Kristi Kongi: Playing in the House of Color
Agnese Čivle. Arterritory, 05.08.2011.

In Estonian

Kunst sinu ümber. Maalikunstnik Kristi Kongi: Ärev-kummaline aeg võib panna meid uude suunda liikuma
Kaarin Kivirähk, Sten Ojavee. Postimees. 11.09.2020.

Maalikunstnik Kristi Kongi: Mehhiko andis mulle lihtsuse tagasi 
Silvia Pärmann. Edasi.org. 13.11.2018.

Kunstilugu. Kristi Kongi: Värv kui materjal
Andreas Trossek. Vikerkaar, 3/2015.

Kristi Kongi nostalgiaruumid
Kati Ilves. Eesti visuaalkultuuri- ja kunsti ajakiri KUNST.EE, 2/2015.

Kristi Kongi: “Ma väga naudin pikalt mõtlemist ja asjade üle kaalumist”
Andreas Trossek. Eesti kunsti- ja visuaalkultuuri ajakiri KUNST.EE. 1/2014

Aus maalikunstnik Kristi Kongi
Hanna-Liis Kont. Müürileht. Märts, 2014.

Kristi Kongi ja Marta Stratskas maalivad paradiisi 
Eha Komissarov. Eesti Ekspress. 19.04.2012.

Kristi värvimaja
Epifanio 15, 2011.

Kristi Kongi värvimuusika
Kadri Karro. Eesti Ekspress, 11.01.2011.

Kristi Kongi tõlkeprobleemid
Ragne Nukk. Äripäev, 19.11.2010.


Kristi Kongi, born in 1985 in Tallinn, lives and works in Tallinn, Estonia.


2008-2011 Estonian Academy of Arts, Painting (MA);
2004-2008 Tartu Art College, Painting (BA);
2006 Lahti University of Applied Sciences, Institute of Fine Arts, Finland.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2021 … and Other Shades of Light, with Krista Mölder, curated by Siim Preiman at Tallinn Art Hall, Tallinn, Estonia.
2021 Imaginary Creatures at the Twilight 2. Rüki galerii, Viljandi, Estonia
2021 Shimmering star Magenta. Was it a dream or was it real? Kogo Gallery, Tartu, Estonia.
2020 I See a Glow from the Seabed. It has No End, No Beginning. And the Colour Changes in Every Moment. Konteiner gallery, Kärdla, Hiiumaa, Estonia.
2018 Secret Whistle in the Forest, with Mari-Leen Kiipli. Kogo Gallery, Tartu, Estonia.
2018 Mapping the Jungle. Karen Huber Gallery, Mexico City, Mexico.
2018 Kristi Kongi in Dialogue with Kasper Bosmans. Alchemists, Artists, Cleaners and Others. Together with Kasper Bosmans. KUMU Art Museum exhibition space, Tallinn, Estonia.
2018 Houses with Soul. Dedazo, Carrillo Puerto, Mexico.
2017 Aberration. Exercises with Light and Shadow. Vaal Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia.
2016 Have You Seen Yourself? Hobusepea Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia.
2014 Then. Now. Between All Those Times. Tallinn City Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia.
2014 Wish I Were a Bird. Orton Gallery, Helsinki, Finland.
2013 Andogynic Mind Machines, with Raoul Kurvitz. Tallinn Art Hall Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia.
2012 Wish I Were a Bird. Hobusepea Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia.
2012 HEAVEN, with Marta Stratskas, Vaal Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia.
2010 Transformer. Draakon Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia.
2010 You are My Meow. SooSoo Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia.

Selected Group Exhibitions

2021 Colour as an idea. Thoughts on colour, curated by Kristi Kongi. At ARS project space, Tallinn, Estonia.
2021 Savvala/Savage, curated by Eliza Ramza and Andris Eglitis, Duki/Jaundrusti, Latvija.
2021 Series of public art exhibitions titled Nocturnal visions. Pink cloud by Kristi Kongi. Explorer building at Kai 1, Tallinn, Estonia.
2020/21 Frenetic standstill, curated by Ilaria Bonacossa and Valerio Del Baglivo, GAM, Palazzo Madama, Torino, Italy.
2020/21 Let me dream once more. Merike Estna, Kristi Kongi, Kaarel Kurismaa, Holger Loodus and Anna Škodenko. Curator Kristi Kongi. Narva Museum Art Gallery, Narva, Estonia.
2020 Time to Dream or Fear?, Kogo Gallery, Tartu, Estonia.
2019/20 Report to the Audience. Acquisitions of Tartmus. Curators Julia Polujanenkova, Heiti Kulmar. Tartmus, Tartu Art Museum, Tartu, Estonia.
2019 Art Museum of Estonia 100. Open Collections: The Artist Takes the Floor. Curator Eha Komissarov. Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn, Estonia.
2019 Women Artists from Pallas 1919-2019. Curator Reet Pulk-Piatkowska. Gallery Noorus, Tartu, Estonia.
2019 Lines Composed During A Tour. Co-Lab Projects, Austin, United States of America.
2017 Children of the New East. Curated by Siim Preiman. Tallinn Art Hall, Tallinn, Estonia.
2016 Nomadic Images, 16th International Painting Triennial. Curated by Linas Liandzbergis. Museum of Applied Art, Vilnius, Lithuania.
2016 The Great Painter. Curated by Liisa Kaljula. Evald Okas Museum, Haapsalu, Estonia.
2016 Kilometre of Sculpture. Curated by Anna Vihma. Rakvere, Estonia.
2016 Köler Prize exhibition of nominees. Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia, Tallinn, Estonia.
2014-2015 White Sheet – Three Visions. dFab, Riga Gallery, Riga, Latvia; Arka Gallery, Vilnius, Lithuania.
2014 Can’t Go On. Must Go On. Curated by Elin Kard and Mihkel Ilus. Tallinn Art Hall, Tallinn, Estonia.
2014 Merike Estna & I’m a painting. Curated by Merike Estna and Kati Ilves. Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn, Estonia.
2014 Artishok Biennale. A+B=AB14. Mūkusalas Mākslas Salons, Riga, Latvia.
2014 Is This the Museum We Wanted?  Curated by Rael Arter, Tartu Art Museum, Tartu, Estonia.
2013-2014 Young Painter Prize. CAC, Vilnius, Lithuania.
2013 Are We not Drawn to New Era. Tartu Art House, Tartu, Estonia.
2012 Speed of Darkness and Other Stories. KUMU Art Museum, Tallinn, Estonia.
2012 Muuda oma meelt / Change Your Mind, Viljandi City Gallery, Viljandi, Estonia
2011 Young Painter Prize exhibition of finalists. Tatanikas, Vilnius, Lithuania.
2011 Zugzwang. Culture Factory Polymer, Tallinn, Estonia.
2010-2011 Girl Power. Artdepoo, Tallinn, Estonia.
2010 Zugzwang. Commune Art, Vilnius, Lithuania.
2010 Muutuv maalikunst / Painting in Process. Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn, Estonia.
2010 193 x 292. Vaal Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia.

Other Projects

2020 Designer for the exhibition Invisible Monumental Painting, curated by Reeli Kõiv, in EKA Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia.
2020 Scenographer/artist in the performance You Will Be a Dancer! Director Liis Vares, performers Katarina Unt and Helen Reitsnik. Sõltumatu Tantsu Lava, Tallinn, Estonia.
2018 Scenographer/artist in the performance Breathe, Do Not Breathe. Director Liis Vares. Performers Liis Vares and Pavel Semjonov. Sõltumatu Tantsu Lava, Tallinn, Estonia.
2016 Performance Currency, curated by Gabriel Mestre. Tripitaka Water Bank, Kopenhagen, Denmark.

Prizes and Scholarships

2022-24 Artists’ and writers’ wage grant, Republic of Estonia Ministry of Culture;
2017 Konrad Mägi prize;
2016 Nominee of the Köler prize;
2013 Sadolin Art Prize;
2011 Young Artist Prize.


2018 Dedazo residency, Carrillo Puerto, Mexico;
2017 Research residency, Mexico City, Mexico;
2016 De Liceiras, Porto, Portugal;
2014 Samband Íslenkra Myndlistarmanna (SÍM), Reykjavik, Iceland.

Works in Collections

Estonian Art Museum, Tartu Art Museum, European Central Bank, European Patent Office;
Private collections in Estonia and all over the World including Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, England, Italy, Germany, USA, Mexico.

Oil on canvas, 120 x 110 cm, 2012
5500 €
Oil on canvas, 182 × 190 cm, 2012
8700 €
Oil on canvas, 150 x 155 cm, 2014
7800 €
Oil on canvas, 35 x 35 cm, 2016
1500 €
Oil on canvas, 30 x 29 cm, 2016
1250 €
Oil on canvas, 35 x 35 cm, 2016
1500 €
Oil on canvas, 50 x 55 cm, 2016
2200 €
Oil on canvas, 95 x 80 cm, 2016
3500 €
Oil on canvas, 35 x 35 cm, 2016
1500 €
Oil on canvas, 130 x 140 cm, 2017
7200 €
Oil on canvas, 44 x 37 cm, 2018
1700 €
Oil on canvas, 31 x 34 cm, 2019
1700 €
Oil on canvas, 47 x 44 cm, 2019
2300 €
Oil on canvas, 66 x 55 cm, 2019
3200 €
Oil on canvas, 70 x 67 cm, 2020
2200 €
Oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cm, 2021
Oil on canvas, 70 x 95 cm, 2021
4300 €
Oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cm, 2021
Oil on canvas, 45 x 40 cm, 2021
2300 €
Oil on canvas, 95 x 100 cm, 2021
5200 €