Artek and the Aaltos: Creating a Modern World


Anyone going to be in New York this summer? Until September 25, 2016, the Bard Graduate Center Gallery (BGCG) is showing the Artek and the Aaltos: Creating a Modern World exhibit. It’s the first in the United States to celebrate the Finnish brand Artek and focus on founders Alvar Aalto (1898–1976) and Aino Aalto (1894–1949). The overdue ode to the Aaltos’ groundbreaking manufacturing of the bentwood furniture highlights how the method remains an Artek trademark and important piece of modern design today. The exhibit considers this role not only for the Artek brand, but for the impact is has made on modernism in art, architecture, interiors, furniture, and other modern products on a global and historic scale.


Approximately 200 pieces will be featured, included some never-seen works that are making their first public appearance. This includes exclusive architectural drawings, drawings and sketches for interiors and furniture, paintings, photography, furniture, glassware, lighting, and textiles. This is not something that fans of modern design, Scandinavian design or Aalto design wants to miss!


The exhibit is curated by the following: Nina Stritzler-Levine, a recognized scholar of modern architecture and design, Juhani Pallasmaa, a prolific writer on modern and contemporary art and architecture, as well as a practicing architect and professor, Timo Riekko, archivist at the Alvar Aalto Archive in Jyväskylä, served as the curatorial assistant in Finland, and Kirstin Purtich, a recent graduate of the Bard Graduate Center master’s program, was the curatorial assistant in New York. It is supported by Artek and organized by the Bard Graduate Center Gallery in collaboration with the Alvar Aalto Museum in Helsinki.

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