The “Glass & Paintings” exhibition tour by Markku Piri has received a spectacular reception in Italy. The first exhibition of the tour, “A Finn at the Court of the Medici”, opened in Florence at Palazzo Medici Riccardi on March 22, 2017. The event marked the beginning of the celebration in Italy of the centenary of Finland’s independence.
The exhibition was realized in partnership with the Embassy of Finland in Rome, in collaboration with the Honorary Consulate of Finland in Florence, and, as an exceptional sign of merit, under the patronage of the City of Florence. VIP guests were invited to the opening reception of the exhibition by the Mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella.
More than 40 journalists were present at the press conference. Many more, including television crews, participated the opening. Six TV channels ran enthusiastic coverage of the exhibition in their news programmes, among them national TV news. Dozens of favourable articles have been published since the opening.
At the opening reception, speeches were given by Ambassador Janne Taalas, Honorary Consul Leonardo Ferragamo and the representatives of the City of Florence. Curator Ritva Röminger-Czako presented an introduction to the art of Markku Piri. The opening words were spoken by Riitta Kaivosoja, General Director of the Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland. Musical performances were given by the Florentine women’s choir The Menura Vocal Ensemble and by special Finnish guests invited by the artist, the opera singer Mari Palo and the accordion player Niko Kumpuvaara.
The response of the media and hundreds of daily visitors has been truly enthusiastic. The multitalented artist embraces the spirit of the Renaissance masters with his elegant exhibition that cleverly combines new limited-edition glass art, created jointly with four of Murano’s greatest masters and the Finnish Lasismi Co-operative, with paintings, serigraph prints and painterly textiles from the collection designed for the Finnish Eurokangas company in celebration of the centenary of Finland’s independence.
At the opening, Markku Piri’s new glass works were considered masterpieces of the highest calibre by the Responsible Director of the Murano Glass Museum, Chiara Squarcina:
“La mostra di Markku Piri pone in evidenza come l’Arte sia la perfetta espressione di una condivisione universale della creatività, geniale e raffinata. Nelle sue opere convive l’ispirazione e la tradizione finlandese, così peculiare e riconoscibile nell’estetica, con la maestria esecutiva dell’arte vetraria muranese che in questo caso traduce ed enfatizza l’ispirazione di Piri. La mostra, quindi, permette di cogliere questo inedito connubio che si traduce in poesia.”
“Markku Piri’s exhibition gives a sublime expression to universal creativity. In his works of extraordinary sophistication, Piri juxtaposes the distinctive tradition of Finnish design and Muranese art of glass, here acting as a catalyst and a source of inspiration for Piri’s original works. For the audience, this is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the result of this merging of two worlds – which is sheer poetry.”