Alvar Aalto - Design London Wednesday, April 24, 2013 | Phillips

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  • Literature

    Aarno Ruusuvuori, ed., Alvar Aalto 1898-1978, Helsinki, 1978, p. 162, fig. 234
    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
    Domus (Milan), no. 810, December 1998, p. 43, figs. 8-12
    Pirkko Tuukkanen, ed., Alvar Aalto Designer, Vammala, 2002, p. 104
    Thomas Kellein, Alvar & Aino Aalto: Collection Bischofberger, Zurich, 2005, p. 180
    Charlotte and Peter Fiell, eds., 1000 Lights, Vol. 1: 1879 to 1959, Cologne, 2005, p. 495
    The Aalto House, Helsinki, exh. cat., Alvar Aalto Museum, Jyväskylä, 2009, n.p. for an example within the living room

  • 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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‘Beehive’ ceiling light, model no. A 331

circa 1953-1954
Painted aluminium, perforated brass, painted brass.
30 x 33 cm (11 3/4 x 12 7/8 in)
Manufactured by Valaistustyö Ky, Finland. Interior light fixture impressed with ‘VALAISTUSTYÖ A331’.

£8,000 - 12,000 

Sold for £21,250

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London 25 April 2013 2pm