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Alvar Aalto

Alvar Aalto, known worldwide as a visionary and influential architect, is also recognized in the fields of furniture and interior design. Aalto created Finnish Pavilions for both the 1937 Paris World Exposition and the 1939 New York World's Fair. His interior design work can still be seen today in Helsinki's famous Savoy Restaurant, for which he would later name an iconic glass vase. As a Finnish designer, Aalto took deep inspiration from his country's natural beauty. His organic works, many of which deftly incorporate light and natural materials, are memorable modernist pieces. In later years, the designer graduated to a more contemporary form of design that drew on his appreciation for film and photography. Aalto was especially famous for his work with wood; he founded the Artek company with his wife, Aino, as a vehicle to promote his revolutionary outlook, furnishings and artwork. The modern works are unmistakably Aalto-influenced, from the straightforward wood benches to the gentle curves of the office chairs. Also in the mix are cocktail tables, modern sofas, lounge chairs, end tables, light fixtures and numerous home accessories. The collection is significant for its no-frills, fuss-free aesthetic that pulls from its Finnish roots: the brand claims a "poetic simplicity." The resulting designs are dramatic yet simple, highly functional yet stylish, minimalist yet forward-thinking all at once - and true testaments to the subtle, expressive grace that Aalto brought to all of his works.