Ieva Gaižutytė, cultural attache of the Republic of Lithuania in Italy , 2010 11 14

Milan welcomed M.K.Čiurlionis: coordinator of the exhibition, cultural attache of RL in Italy Ieva Gaižutytė, curator of the exhibition Prof. Gabriella Di Milia, director of the Palazzo Reale Museum Domenico Piraina, translator of the catalogue of the exhibition from Lithuanian and Polish Anastasija Panžina. Photo of organisers

The opening of the biggest exhibition of Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis ever showcased in West European countries “Čiurlionis – Esoteric Trip 1875-1911” in Milan (Italy) is approximating.

“From Goya to Dali, from Čiurlionis to Kubrick” – this was how the mayor of Milan Letizia Moratti presented the cultural programme of this year to inhabitants of the city. This piece of news was widely spread by the mass media of Italy. The mayor and the professor, expert of M.K.Čiurlionis’ works Vytautas Landsbergis will open the exhibition of one of the most distinguished Lithuanian artists M.K.Čiurlionis’ paintings “ČIURLIONIS – Esoteric Trip 1875-1911” (“ČIURLIONIS: Un viaggio esoterico 1875-1911”) in Milan on the 15th of November.

The opening of the exhibition for representatives of Lithuanian and Italian institutions on the 15th of November is considered to be the beginning of the exhibition. Representatives of Italian culture and business, politicians, journalists are invited to the opening on the 16th of November. The exhibition will be opened to the public with tickets on the 17th of November. The exposition will be open until the 13th of February, 2011.

Opening of the exhibition:

The opening will start at 7 p.m. by the viewing of the exhibition and opening speeches at 7.30 p.m., after which a lunch for 120 invited most important guests will be organised. The exhibition will be opened by Prof. V.Landsbergis and the mayor of Milan L.Moratti. The professor will perform the piano works of M.K.Čiurlionis during the opening. The Minister of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania Arūnas Gelūnas will say a speech of greeting and gratitude.

Organisers of the exhibition:

The exhibition was initiated and coordinated by the cultural attaché of the Republic of Lithuania in Italy I.Gaižutytė along with the Italian Cultural Antonio Mazzotta Foundation and the National M.K.Čiurlionis Art Museum.

Content of the exhibition:

The biggest collection of 137 works (paintings, photographs and other exhibits from the archives of M.K.Čiurlionis’ works) ever showcased in West European countries will be presented in Milan Royal Palace Museum Palazzo Reale (Piazza Duomo 12).

Beginning of the project:

The idea of the exhibition was born at the beginning of 2007, when letters were exchanged with the famous art critic Vittorio Sgarbi, who was responsible for culture in the Municipality of Milan and who supported the idea to bring the collection of Čiurlionis to Milan. After long negotiations, the new authorities of the city: the mayor of Milan Letizia Moratti, her deputy for culture Massimiliano Finazzer Flory and director of Palazzo Reale Domenico Piraina agreed to provide the premises of the museum free of charge and to grant financial assistance while implementing this idea.

Aim of the project – to fully reveal talents of the artist:

The objective is not only to present the works of fine art of M.K.Čiurlionis but also to reveal other talents of the artist, to introduce him as a composer and a man of letters. Music of the composer, which will resound in the exhibition in the background of the presented works of art will show the close relation between music and art in works of M.K.Čiurlionis.

Presentations of the piano music will accompany the exhibition. One of the most important events will be “Čiurlionis: a Trip to Soundscapes”, during which the music of Čuirlionis will be performed by the great-grandchild of the artist Rokas Zubovas along with Sonata Zubovienė; texts of Čiurlionis will be read by the deputy mayor of Milan for cultural issues, a well-known actor Massimiliano Finazzer Flory.

Also, the letters of M.K.Čiurlionis to his wife Sofija Kymantaitė will be showcased. They testify about the literary skills of the artist. More than 50 letters of Čiurlionis have been translated from Lithuanian and Polish (letters exchanged with Sofija, brothers, friends and relatives), extracts from which as well as the thorough study of M.K.Čiurlionis “About Music” are published in the catalogue of 150 pages.

Attention to children and young people:

The Lithuanian cultural attaché in Italy succeeded to receive one hall in Palazzo Reale in which a creative laboratory for children and youth will be established. A special educational programme and methodological material has been prepared. Children will listen to lectures about the works of Čiurlionis, will be able to hear music of the composer in the laboratory, they will draw and create inspired by the Lithuanian artist there. More than 10 000 pupils of Milan have been lured to the project: they will get acquainted with the works of M.K.Čiurlionis.

An exhibition of works of pupils of the National M.K.Čiurlionis Art School “Along the Paths of Čiurlionis” will be organised. It will be showcased along with the selected works of pupils of Milan schools at the end of the exhibition in the premises of Palazzo Reale.

As the International Universal Children’s Day will be commemorated on the 20th-21st of November, a special programme for children will be organised: children will get acquainted with the works of Čiurlionis and Lithuania, perhaps for the first time.

Innovations of the project:

Attempts were made to present the exhibition in a modern and unusual way. Some works of the artist will be shown in 2D format in video films created by the professor of Brera Academy of Art, architect Domenic Nicolamarin. Japanese admirers of M.K.Čiurlionis contributed to the innovative implementation of the project: the illumination was organised and financed by the world-famous Japanese illumination company NEC. The ones who cannot visit the exhibition will be able to listen to Čiurlionis’ music via iPhone.

Economic side of the project:

Understanding the hard economic situation of Lithuania, the Lithuanian cultural attaché’s office in Italy implemented the project using the help of Italian institutions and private supporters first of all.

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