Alvar Aalto - Important Nordic Design London Wednesday, September 26, 2012 | Phillips

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  • Literature

    Eva B Ottillinger, Alvar Aalto, Möbel: Die Sammlung Kossdorff, Wien, 2002, p. 75, fig. 78
    Pirkko Tuukkanen, ed., Alvar Aalto Designer, Vammala, 2002, p. 205, cat. 3031
    Thomas Kellein, ed. Alvar and Aino Aalto Design: Collection Bischofberger, exh. cat., Kunsthalle Bielefeld, 2005, p. 215

  • 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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Two large ‘Savoy’ vases, model no. 3031

designed 1936, 1950s
Opal glass and clear glass.
Each: 30 cm (11 3/4 in) high
Produced by Iittala, Finland. Underside of one with 'ALVAR AALTO • 3031' the other with manufacturer's logo decal 'MADE IN FINLAND'.

£4,000 - 5,000 

Important Nordic Design

27 September 2012