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

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  • Provenance

    Private collection, UK

  • Literature

    ‘Finmar Limited: London, S.W.1, 44 Ranelagh Road’, sales catalogue, London, 1936, n.p.
    Domus (Milan), no. 103, July 1936, p. 42 for the design exhibited at the VI Triennale; no. 435, February 1966, fig. 19, fig. 21, technical drawing; no. 440, July 1966, n.p.; no. 532, March 1974, n.p.; no. 670, March 1986, p. 65; no. 676, October 1986, p. 30; no. 697, September 1988, pp. 104-08; no. 748, April 1993, p. 77; no. 810, December 1993, pp. 43 and 45, fig. 7
    ‘Finmar: Furniture of the future for the home of To-day’, sales catalogue, London, 1939, p. 14, p. 40 for an advertisement
    Juhani Pallasmaa, ed., Alvar Aalto furniture, exh, cat., Museum of Finnish Architecture Finnish Society of Crafts and Design Artek, Helsinki, 1984, back cover, p. 76, fig. 103, p. 80, fig. 116, pp. 88-89, figs. 145-45, p. 126 for images and technical drawings
    Michael Playford and Michael Whiteway, Alvar Aalto: furniture 1929-1939, London, 1987, n.p.
    Tuula Poutasuo, ed., Finnish Industrial Design, Helsinki, 1987, p. 9, fig. 5
    Charlotte and Peter Fiell, Scandinavian Design, Cologne, 2002, pp. 82, 105
    Pirkko Tuukkanen, ed., Alvar Aalto Designer, Vammala, 2002, pp. 18, 71, p. 165 for an image and a technical drawing
    Tuberculosis Sanatorium, Paimio: 1929-1933, exh. cat., Alvar Aalto Museum, Jyväskylä, 2004, n.p. for a period images of a group of Paimio chairs in the recreation room
    Thomas Kellein, Alvar & Aino Aalto: Collection Bischofberger, Zurich, 2005, front and back cover, pp. 38-39

  • 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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‘Paimio’ armchair, model no. 41/8-2, designed for the Tuberculosis Sanatorium, Paimio

circa 1932
Laminated birch plywood, painted laminated birch plywood, birch
63 x 60 x 86.7 cm (24 3/4 x 23 5/8 x 34 1/8 in)
Manufactured by O.y. Huonekalu-ja Rakennustyötehdas A.b., Turku, Finland, for Finmar, UK. Underside with manufacturer's plastic label 'FINMAR LTD./DESIGN REG./787811 - 19./MADE IN FINLAND.'.

£10,000 - 15,000 

Sold for £23,750

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London 25 April 2013 2pm