Alvar Aalto - Design Masters New York Tuesday, December 16, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private collection, Helsinki

  • Literature

    Juhani Pallasmaa, ed., alvar aalto furniture, exh, cat., Museum of Finnish Architecture Finnish Society of Crafts and Design Artek, Helsinki, 1984, p. 92, fig. 155
    Thomas Kellein, ed. Alvar & Aino Aalto. Design Collection Bischofberger, exh. cat., Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Zurich, 2005, pp. 172-73
    Kirsi Gullichsen and Ulla Kinnunen, Inside the Villa Mairea, Art, Design and Interior Architecture, Jyväskylä, 2009, p. 278, fig. 4

  • Artist Biography

    Alvar Aalto

    Finnish • 1898 - 1976

    In contrast with the functionalism of the International Style (as well the neoclassicism put forward by the Nazi and Soviet regimes), Alvar Aalto brought a refreshing breath of humanism to modern design: "True architecture exists only where man stands in the center," he wrote. Aalto designed furniture in stack-laminated plywood composed of Finnish birch, which was cost-effective and lent warmth to his interiors. Aalto also revived Finnish glass design with his entries in the various Karhula-Iitala glassworks competitions throughout the 1930s.

    In 1936 he won first place for a collection of colorful, wavy vases in various sizes titled Eskimoerindens skinnbuxa (The Eskimo Woman’s Leather Breeches). The vases were an immediate success and the most popular size, now known as the "Savoy" vase, is still in production today. Aalto's freeform designs, in harmony with human needs and nature, anticipated the organic modernism of the 1950s and 1960s; in particular, his innovations in bent plywood had a major impact on designers such as Charles and Ray Eames.

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"Hand Grenade" ceiling light, model no. A110

circa 1952
Painted metal, perforated brass.
17 1/8 in. (43.5 cm) high, 5 7/8 in. (14.8 cm) diameter, variable drop
Manufactured by Valaistustyö Ky, Finland. Light fixture impressed with Valaistustyö A110.

$5,000 - 7,000 

Sold for $6,250

Contact Specialist
Meaghan Roddy
Head of Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1266

Design Masters

New York Auction 16 December 2014 6pm