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 created for specific settings. Besides painting on canvas, walls, floors and ceilings, she also uses various coloured materials such as fabric, plywood and acrylic plastic to create her painting installations. The paintings and installations are based on specific or imagined places, and her observations, emotions and memories. Kristi Kongi’s work is based on thorough research and experiments in painting where she trials various colours, light and shade. Kristi refers to these experiments as “Exercises with the moon”. Kristi Kongi’s 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.
See also Kristi Kongi on artists database of CCA (Estonian Centre for Contemporary Art)
Exhibitions at Kogo
Press and Publications
Aberration. Exercises with light and shadow
Kristi Kongi (ed.), 2017.
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.
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.
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 ling 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.
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.
Andreas Trossek. Vikerkaar, 3/2015.
Aus maalikunstnik Kristi Kongi
Hanna-Liis Kont. Müürileht. Märts, 2014.
Kristi Kongi ja Marta Stratskas maalivad paradiisi
Eha Komissarov. Eesti Ekspress. 19.04.2012.
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);|
|2004||Lahti University of Applied Sciences, Institute of Fine Arts, Finland.|
Selected Solo Exhibitions
|2021||Upcoming: duo show by Kristi Kongi and Krista Mölder, curated by Siim Preiman at Tallinn Art Hall, 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.|
|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 Virtanen. 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.|
|2016||Currency. Curated by Gabriel Mestre. Tripitaka Water Bank, Kopenhagen, Denmark.|
Prizes and Scholarships
|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
Tartu Art Museum
Private collections in Estonia and all over the World including Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, England, Italy, Germany, USA, Mexico.