Estonian artists’ – Kristi Kongi and Tõnis Saadoja – exhibition at the Pontone Gallery

Friday 03.05.2024 to Saturday 06.07.2024
Pontone Gallery

LOST SUMMER SKIES: KRISTI KONGI & TÕNIS SAADOJA
3 May – 6 July 2024
at the Pontone Gallery
74 Newman Street
London W1T 3DB

Pontone Gallery is excited to present an inaugural exhibition by Estonian artists, Kristi Kongi and Tõnis Saadoja. Mid-career and with prestigious curriculum vitae, they are academic colleagues at the Estonian Academy of Arts. Both are painters but work in distinct ways that are quite different from each other. For this exhibition each artist has generated work on the theme of the sky and its symbolic significance within the Nordic and Estonian cultural context.

Kristi Kongi makes paintings and site-specific installations. Her work is rooted in a formal exploration of light, colour and space, initiated by her memories and experiences of significant landscapes and their emotional associations. The artist’s original encounter with place and atmosphere is translated into a modified visual code for us to decipher. She uses a sumptuous range of vibrant, almost psychedelic colour to accentuate a feeling of heightened perception. Her contribution to the exhibition consists of paintings inspired by such sublime geography and a ‘spatial intervention’ in the form of a wall painting.

Tõnis Saadoja deploys a controlled, programmatic method. He documents his response to personal source material in two discrete sets of paintings: small pictures of skies and larger ones of architecture. He deploys a different technique for each. The skies are rendered with a full-colour palette in a naturalistic mode of representation, while the architectural subjects are graphically described in a minimal range of muted hues which emphasises flatness and a sense of cool detachment. The subtlety and nuance of his picture-making evokes a romantic atmosphere, an echo of lost summer skies.

Each artist displays a strong attachment to a sense of place, articulated through sophisticated manipulations typical of their respective practises. Kongi makes a directly expressive response, mediated by compositional devices. Saadoja essays thoughtful enquiries into the controlled presentation of content. In the process both of them reveal an insightful yearning for their native Nordic landscape.

Further information

Friday 03.05.2024 to Saturday 06.07.2024
Pontone Gallery