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Janne Taalas

Janne Taalas

Ambassador of Finland to Italy

The following text is an excerpt from the exhibition catalog.

Held at the heartland of the Italian culture, the series of three exhibitions by Markku Piri are a magnificent way to mark the centenary of Finland’s independence in 2017 and to celebrate the importance of the Italian culture for Finnish art. My warmest thanks are due to Leonardo Ferragamo, the honorary consul of Finland in Florence, and to the cities of Florence, Rome and Venice. Without their support, the exhibitions would not have been possible.

Markku Piri is a tremendous ambassador for Finnish art: to him, different techniques and materials do not mean restrictions, but new opportunities for artistic expression. His powerful works comment on contemporary Finnish identity and set up a fascinating dialogue between the traditional simplicity of Finnish design and the more profuse Italian expression.

This exhibition tour also celebrates the close cultural affinity between Finland and Italy. Markku Piri’s works show a strong influence from the Renaissance art and the unique cultural milieux at the exhibition cities. They also demonstrate his deep respect for the centuries-old tradition of the Italian glassmasters. His strong intuition and virtuosity have impressed all of us having worked with him in this project. His exhibitions build a bridge between two worlds: a Finnish visitor may absorb the influences and impressions of the Italian culture, while an Italian visitor may get a feel of something essentially Finnish.

I am proud that the embassy has contributed its support to this project. The three magnificent exhibitions, the intensive process of creating them and the artist’s sparkling personality will be etched into our memories as an inseparable part of the centenary celebrations. I wish all the best for Markku Piri and his exhibition tour. Let us hope that we do not have to wait for a hundred years for something similar to come!