Solo exhibitions of Rut Bryk and Tapio Wirkkala simultaneously on display abroad

Bryk’s ceramic art is taken on an extensive touring exhibition to Japan, while Wirkkala’s glass art is on display at the Murano Glass Museum in Venice. The works of the married couple are being prepared at EMMA for the international solo exhibitions.

Text by: EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art

Rut Bryk (1916–1999) is one of the reformers of Finnish ceramic art. Her artistic production, spanning six decades, will be taken on an extensive touring exhibition to Japan. The exhibition, jointly curated by EMMA and collaborating museums, will primarily consist of Bryk’s ceramic works but will also include sketches, graphics and textiles.

The touring exhibition in Japan will be opened at Tokyo Station Gallery on 27 April. The exhibition will tour until autumn 2020 and will be on display in the following museums: Tokyo Station Gallery 27th April – 16th June 2019, Itami City Museum of Art 7 September – 20 October 2019, Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Gifu 25 April – 5 July 2020, Kurume City Art Museum 18 July – 6 September 2020. The exhibition has been co-produced by EMMA, Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation and the Japanese company Blue Sheep.

In collaboration with the Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation, EMMA has produced the documentary film Rut Bryk: Touch of a Butterfly, which will be shown in Japan in connection to the touring exhibition. The documentary, which has been partly filmed in Lapland scenery, is a warm and intimate portrayal of Rut Bryk, who was at home in both global metropolises as well as the middle of Lapland’s wilderness. The interviews will feature discussions with Pirjo Honkasalo, Harri KalhaTinni Torikka and Petra Wirkkala. The documentary can be seen in the Bryk & Wirkkala Visible Storage at EMMA during 3 April – 5 May 2019.

In addition to the documentary, EMMA will feature visual artist Maaria Wirkkala’s new work Mosaic of the Mind (2019) until 14 April, after which it will journey to Japan as part of the touring exhibition.

Extensive Wirkkala exhibition featured at Murano Glass Museum in Venice

Tapio Wirkkala’s (1915-1985) exhibition presents primarily glass works designed by Wirkkala, including also his best-known works created from other materials. In Finland, Wirkkala collaborated with Iittala for four decades. The close relationship with Italy began in the early 1960s upon the start of a long-term collaboration with the Italian Venini glass factory. The exhibition’s curators, designer Harri Koskinen and architect Marco Romanelli, create a dialogue between Italian and Finnish viewpoints and the tradition of glass design through Wirkkala’s works.

The exhibition is on display at Murano Glass Museum during 7 May – 29 September 2019, simultaneously with the Venice Biennale. The exhibition has been co-produced by EMMA, Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation and Murano Glass Museum.