Estonian National Museum marks 80th anniversary of Peeter Mudist

The exhibition "The Burning Man" at the Estonian National Museum (Eesti Rahva Muuseum) marks the 80th anniversary of the legendary Estonian artist Peeter Mudist. The exhibition contains more than 60 of his paintings, some of his most well-known sculptures, as well as Mudist's own writings describing the artworks.

"In addition to being an exceptional painter, the accompanying texts have an abundance of interesting details. At first glance, it appears to be a pathos -- a single image depicting a deeply moving story. However, what he often had in mind is something lot simpler and quite different," Reet Mark, the curator of the exhibition, explained.

The works on display come from museums and two private collections, which contain the majority of Mudist's legacy. The selected artworks all depict people who were important and close to the artist.

Just a few years after graduating from the Estonian Art Institute, Mudist developed his own distinctive style, which was notably different from everything else being done at the time.

"They may be described as impressionistic and yet they are not. While impressionism is always about capturing the moment, there's always something bigger and more lasting in Mudist's paintings," Mark said.

Mudist is one of the rare Estonian painters who excelled also in sculpture -- the exhibition also provides an overview of his sculptural oeuvre.

The Burning Man – Peeter Mudist. Source: Estonian National Museum

Mudist died in 2013 at the age of 71 after having Parkinson's disease for 30 years.

The exhibition is titled "The Burning Man" because of the artist's notorious unpredictable behavior. Perhaps it was the artist's deteriorating health that motivated him to work with such zeal and dedication, the curator said.

Peeter Mudist was awarded the Kristjan Raud Art Prize in 1989, the Konrad Mäe Medal in 1991 and the Order of the White Star III Class in 2001.

The exhibition is curated by Reet Mark and designed by Emma Eensalu. It will be on display until January 15.


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Editor: Kristina Kersa

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