Alvar Aalto - Nordic Design London Tuesday, September 23, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Literature

    Pirkko Tuukkanen, ed., Alvar Aalto Designer, Helsinki, 2002, pp. 26, 96, 177, 187 for the chairs, pp. 102-03, 185 for drawings and images of the table
    Thomas Kellein, ed., alvar & aino aalto. design collection bischofberger, exh. cat., Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Zurich, 2005, p. 143 for the chairs

  • 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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Extendable 'H Leg' dining table, circa 1956 and ten dining chairs, model no. 612

Table: birch laminated wood, birch, painted metal; chairs: birch, leather.
Table: 73.5 x 304.8 x 99.8 cm (28 7/8 x 120 x 39 1/4 in.) fully extended
Each chair: 78.7 x 49.2 x 49.8 cm (30 7/8 x 19 3/8 x 19 5/8 in.)

Manufactured by O.y. Huonekalu-ja Rakennustyötehdas A.b., Turku, for Artek, Finland. Underside of table impressed twice with 22 and each underside of chairs with manufacturer's stamp ARTEK aalto • design/MADE IN FINLAND and each impressed twice with 2, 26, 38, 64, 86, 105, 117, 130, 145, 152 respectively.

£8,000 - 12,000 

Sold for £18,750

Contact Specialist
Ben Williams
+44 20 7318 4027

Nordic Design

London 24 September 2014 6pm