Alvar Aalto (1898–1976), who was called the “Magus of the North” by the architectural critic Sigfried Giedion, is the best known Finnish architects of his generation and one of the chief proponents of a human-centred modernism. His buildings such as the Paimio Sanatorium (1933) for patients suffering from tuberculosis, and Villa Mairea (1939) embody a masterful interplay of organic volumes, forms and materials. Aalto’s Paimio Chair (1931–1932) and his Stool 60 (1933) were milestones in the development of modern furniture, and his emblematic Savoy Vase (1936) has become the symbol of Finnish Design.
The ”la Caixa” Foundation, together with the Vitra Design Museum (Weil am Rhein, Germany) and the Alvar Aalto Museum (Jyväskylä, Finland), presents the exhibition Alvar Aalto 1898-1976. Organic Architecture, Art and Design, a major retrospective of this legendary architect that takes a new look at his work and analyses how Aalto’s affinity for organic form was mediated by his close dialogue with many artists of his time, among them László Moholy-Nagy, Jean Arp, Alexander Calder and Fernand Léger, illustrated by a total of 350 exhibits, among them models, furniture, lamps, original drawings, period photographs and new images produced by Armin Linke. A new section of the exhibition has been added for its tour of Spain, detailing Aalto’s visits to our country in 1951.
Alvar Aalto 1898-1976. Organic Architecture, Art and Design. Venue: CaixaForum Barcelona (Av. de Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, 6-8). Dates: 4 June to 23 August 2015.