Markku Piri: A Finn at the Medici Court

Through June 4: A FINN AT THE COURT OF THE MEDICI. Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Sale Fabiani. Via Cavour, 1. Open Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 6:30 pm, closed Wednesday. Free admission.

“A Finn in the Court of the Medici” an exhibition hosted by the Palazzo Medici Riccardi before traveling to Rome and Venice, features the works of Markku Piri. Piri, born in 1955, could be described as a “Renaissance man” as not only does he create objets d’ art with glass, he paints, designs textiles, jewelry, furniture and creates theatre costumes and set designs.

Piri, a tall and elegant gent, spoke at the opening of his connection to the Florentine Renaissance remarking, “Any artist whose emotions are not touched by the city of the Renaissance would be blind and ignorant.” Originally wanting to become an architect, the artist developed a fascination for the “wonders of nature, its colors, space and light.”

The glass items, created in conjunction with renowned artisans from Murano and artists of the Finnish cooperative Lasismi, exhibit the clean lines of Scandinavian design. Displayed in the 15th century palazzo with backdrops of the artist’s textile hangings and colorful paintings on the walls, the glass objects take center stage.

A winding stairwell, one earth-toned vase artfully placed on each step, leads the eye mysteriously up and around the corner. The color, light and reflections of nature in the works are sure to catch the eye of any viewer.  (rita kungel)