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HAPPENINGText: Victor Moreno

Photo: Victor Moreno

Exhibitions of international art that were organized at ARTEK left their mark on the Finnish art Scene – and also on the collections of the Ateneum. The German Romantic idea about “Gesamtkunstwerk”, or total work of art, was important for Aalto, embracing architectural and industrial design with fine art. Aalto’s work ranged from furniture and design objects, architectural drawings, lightning fixtures, glass objects, scale models, photographs, short films, and 3D work.

Alvar Aalto: Armchair 41 “Paimio”, 1932. Vitra Design Museum. Photo: Jürgen Hans

The Armchair Paimio, which has been exhibited at different contemporary museums around the world, is the best-known piece of furniture designed by Aalto. This work made in bentwood explores the limits of plywood manufacturing. As a matter of fact, this chair is a development of Marcel Breuer’s tubular-steel chair made in the 1920s but Aalto instead of steel made it in birch, whose character combines both aspects the Modernism and Scandinavian style.

Aino Aalto: Bölgeblick series, 1936. © Vitra Design Museum. Photo: Vitra Design Museum / Alexander von Vegesack, 2014 / Andreas Sütterlin

Aalto was a master using natural and artificial lightning in combination. Many of his luminaires were created for specific buildings and went into mass production afterward. Many of his lamps remain in production to this day.

The retrospective is extended with some work of Aalto’s international network and graphic and visual design work. It is possible to attend this exhibition until the end of September.

Alvar Aalto – Art and the Modern Form
Date: May 11th – September 29th, 2017
Place: Ateneum Museum Helsinki
Address: Kaivokatu 2, 00100 Helsinki
Tel: +358 (0)294 500 401
Curation: Jochen Eisenbrand

Text: Victor Moreno

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