Alvar Aalto - The Architect London Monday, April 28, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Literature

    Domus (Milan), no. 65, May 1933, p. 247
    Aarno Ruusuvuori, ed., Alvar Aalto: 1898-1976, exh. cat., The Museum of Finnish Architecture, Helsinki, 1978, p. 62, fig. 87 for a drawing
    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. 104, p. 88, fig. 145, p. 126 for images and technical drawings
    Michael Playford and Michael Whiteway, Alvar Aalto: furniture 1929-1939, London, 1987, pl. 5
    Eva B. Ottillinger, Alvar Aalto, Möbel: Die Sammlung Kossdorff, Vienna, 2002, p. 5, cat. 17, p. 17, fig. 12, p. 36
    Pirkko Tuukkanen, ed., Alvar Aalto Designer, Vammala, 2002, passim
    Charlotte and Peter Fiell, Scandinavian Design, Cologne, 2002, pp. 81, 83
    Tuberculosis Sanatorium, Paimio: 1929-1933, exh. cat., Alvar Aalto Museum, Jyväskylä, 2004, n.p.
    Thomas Kellein, ed. alvar & aino aalto. design collection bischofberger, exh. cat., Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Zurich, 2005, pp. 42-47

  • 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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Early cantilevered armchair with stepped base, model no. 31, designed for the Tuberculosis Sanatorium, Paimio

Beechwood-veneered moulded plywood, laminated beechwood, beechwood.
65.3 x 60.2 x 80.6 cm (25 3/4 x 23 3/4 x 31 3/4 in.)
Manufactured by O.y. Huonekalu-ja Rakennustyötehdas A.b., Turku, Finland.

£15,000 - 25,000 

Sold for £23,750

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The Architect

Created by Lee F. Mindel, London Auction 29 April 2014 6pm