Exhibition > Past > SEB Gallery

SEB Gallery 22.10.2008-05.12.2008

Journey to Venice

The picturesque city of Venice has fascinated creative people with its mystical aura and beautiful architecture for centuries already. Estonian artists, too, have painted their own Venice, as they have seen it from Estonia, a country far away. The main theme of the works of Rein Mägar, the water-colourist and poster-artist, has been Estonian nature, yet from time to time he has put down freshly collected impressions and sensations from trips abroad. Recently Mägar’s creative work was enriched by a short bus-trip to Italy, which took him also to the tourist Mecca, Venice. As the stay was short, the acquaintance with the city was too brief and the most powerful impression on the artist was made by the mountains; so it happened that the journey turned out to be more important than the destination itself. The exhibition “Journey to Venice” is not at all a customary portrait of Venice but a description of an impression-packed journey that started at the sunlit forest at home. Here being on the road and the sensation of something unknown and unexpected is more important than “conquering” the destination itself. And the journey was worth it as one has to go over and through the Alps to reach Venice and most of the motives in the exhibition originate from the difficult yet amazing trip.
Above all it was the magnificent and awe-inspiring mountains that caught Rein Mägar’s attention on the trip to Venice, each with its own face and soul. The mountains with different character and look have been portrayed through the moods characteristic to them. Various shades of emotions have been captured by different colour harmonies that vary from subtle pastel shades to vigorous and darker ones. It is just the transparent and freely breathing water-colour painting that Mägar has practiced since mid-1990ies, which is one of the most suitable techniques for conveying the nuances of emotions. On his trip the artist, like hundreds of others before him, was searching for the much-discussed and -described Venetian light, which is said to be so special due to the water reflecting part of the light back upwards. He found that light on his journey and recorded it in his water-colours. Yet, looking at his pictures, a thought from Mägar keeps returning to haunt: “Whether the light of our Baltic Sea on the islets differs much from this, is doubtful…” Abroad the grass is always greener and the sun brighter but sometimes it doesn’t take more than just a glimpse across the border to see what makes it so special here.

< back