Alvar Aalto retrospective at CaixaForum Barcelona

The exhibition includes Aalto’s most iconic buildings and designs, but also lesser-known projects that remained on paper, as well as Armin Linke’s new photographs and footage on the architect’s work.

 

Maison Louis Carré, Bazoches-sur-Guyonne, France, Alvar Aalto, 1956-1959, 1961-1963 © Armin Linke, 2014. Gentilesa de la Galleria Pescamara, Pescara

Maison Louis Carré, Bazoches-sur-Guyonne, France, Alvar Aalto, 1956-1959, 1961-1963 © Armin Linke, 2014. Courtesy of Galleria Pescamara, Pescara

 

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, 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. The exhibition will be open until August 23, 2015.

 

Alvar Aalto. Organic architecture, art and design © CaixaForum

Alvar Aalto. Organic architecture, art and design © CaixaForum

Alvar Aalto. Organic architecture, art and design © CaixaForum

Alvar Aalto. Organic architecture, art and design © CaixaForum

Alvar Aalto. Organic architecture, art and design © CaixaForum

Alvar Aalto. Organic architecture, art and design © CaixaForum

Alvar Aalto. Organic architecture, art and design © CaixaForum

Alvar Aalto. Organic architecture, art and design © CaixaForum


 

Alvar Aalto (1898–1976), who was called the “Magus of the North” by the architectural critic Sigfried Giedion, is the best known Finnish architect 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.

 

Aino Aalto in a Paimio chair, photocollage, ca. 1930 © Alvar Aalto Museum, Artek Collection, VEGAP, Barcelona, 2015

Aino Aalto in a Paimio chair, photocollage, ca. 1930 © Alvar Aalto Museum, Artek Collection, VEGAP, Barcelona, 2015

 

CaixaForum Barcelona is now pleased to present the exhibition Alvar Aalto 1898-1976. Organic Architecture, Art and Design, an extensive overview of the life and work of Alvar Aalto (Kuortane, Finland, 1898 – Helsinki, Finland, 1976). The exhibition – curated by Jochen Eisenbrand, Chief Curator at the Vitra Design Museum – looks at the life of this Finnish architect and provides insights into every aspect of his artistic process thanks to the 350 exhibits featured, among them period models, original drawings, furniture, lamps and glassware, as well as works by other notable artists, among them Alexander Calder and Jean Arp.

 

Viipuri library (Víborg), Carèlia, Alvar Aalto, 1927-1935 © Armin Linke, 2014. Courtesy of Galleria Villamare, Pescara

Viipuri library (Víborg), Carèlia, Alvar Aalto, 1927-1935 © Armin Linke, 2014. Courtesy of Galleria Villamare, Pescara

Paimio sanatorium  for the treatment of tuberculosis, Finlàndia, Alvar Aalto, 1928-1933 © Alvar Aalto Museum, VEGAP, Barcelona, 2015

Paimio sanatorium for the treatment of tuberculosis, Finlàndia, Alvar Aalto, 1928-1933 © Alvar Aalto Museum, VEGAP, Barcelona, 2015

 

The exhibition includes Aalto’s most iconic buildings and designs, but also lesser-known projects that remained on paper. The display is complemented by the work of the German artist Armin Linke, who was commissioned to produce new photographs and film footage of particular buildings.

Linke’s pieces appear throughout the exhibition, engaging in a dialogue with the period and archive material of the Vitra Design Museum and the Alvar Aalto Museum, as well as pieces from international lenders.

 

Alvar Aalto in his study, 1945 © Alvar Aalto Estate / Alvar Aalto Museum. Photo: Eino Mäkinen

Alvar Aalto in his study, 1945 © Alvar Aalto Estate / Alvar Aalto Museum. Photo: Eino Mäkinen

Shiraz Art Museum, Iran, Alvar Aalto, 1969-1970 © Alvar Aalto Museum, VEGAP, Barcelona, 2015

Shiraz Art Museum, Iran, Alvar Aalto, 1969-1970 © Alvar Aalto Museum, VEGAP, Barcelona, 2015

 

Parts of the exhibition

Elective affinities

Multisensory spaces

Nature, art and architecture

Free forms

Flexible standardisation and reconstruction

Rational but human lighting

The art of the everyday

An architecture of synthesis

1951: Aalto in Spain

 

Maison Louis Carré, Bazoches-sur-Guyonne, France, Alvar Aalto, 1956-1959, 1961-1963 © Armin Linke, 2014. Gentilesa de la Galleria Pescamara, Pescara

Maison Louis Carré, Bazoches-sur-Guyonne, France, Alvar Aalto, 1956-1959, 1961-1963 © Armin Linke, 2014. Gentilesa de la Galleria Pescamara, Pescara

Living room, Maison Louis Carré, Bazoches-sur-Guyonne, France, Alvar Aalto, 1956-1961 © Alvar Aalto Museum. Foto: Heikki Havas, VEGAP, Barcelona, 2015

Living room, Maison Louis Carré, Bazoches-sur-Guyonne, France, Alvar Aalto, 1956-1961 © Alvar Aalto Museum. Foto: Heikki Havas, VEGAP, Barcelona, 2015


 

Practical Information

Alvar Aalto 1898-1976. Organic Architecture, Art and Design.
4 June to 23 August 2015

CaixaForum Barcelona
Av. de Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, 6-8

 


 

Exhibition information and images courtesy of laCaixa