Alvar Aalto, ‘Armchair 41’, 1930, National Gallery of Victoria

Collection: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Manufacturer: Artek, Helsinki

"Nordic Cool: Modernist Design"

Venue: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2015)

About Alvar Aalto

Finnish designer and architect Alvar Aalto was known to treat each building as a work of art—down to the details of his interiors, furniture, and lighting—ultimately striving for a more beautiful mode of home life. Recognized as one of the most influential architects of Nordic Modernism, Aalto was inspired by the relationship of architecture to the physical and cultural landscape, and thus formed a body of work that reflected the growth and industrialization of his home country during the early 20th century. Aalto's early works were in the style of Nordic Classicism, the predominant style of the era; after traveling through Europe, he was exposed to International Style and soon adopted the natural materials and organic forms of this approach into his aesthetic.

Finnish, 1898-1976, Kuortane, Finland, based in Helsinki, Finland