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In 2013, the Alvar Aalto Museum will be making Finnish contemporary art an even more integral part of its changing gallery exhibitions. There will be two shows by internationally recognized artists: Elena Näsänen’s video-artwork The Passerby and an installation by Hannu Karjalainen. The coming year also belongs to the Aalto stool; this classic design now celebrating 80 years in production will be seen in Cologne in January and, later in the spring, in A Stool Makes History in the Alvar Aalto Museum Gallery.

Photo: Max Petrelius, Artek collection / Alvar Aalto Museum

Photo: Max Petrelius, Artek collection / Alvar Aalto Museum

“Each year, our exhibition programme aims to focus attention on Alvar Aalto and the classic topics, but also to use topical themes to highlight the relationship between Aalto’s legacy and contemporary culture in its various manifestations. This year, we are approaching this interesting configuration with the aid of a classic stool and Finnish contemporary art,” says Susanna Pettersson, Director of the Alvar Aalto Museum.

The visual artist Elena Näsänen’s The Passerby will receive its premiere in the Alvar Aalto Museum Gallery in March. This combination of video art and photography shows part of Aalto’s oeuvre, but seen through other eyes. In this multi-layered work a foreign woman walks the streets of Helsinki looking for Alvar Aalto buildings that have become icons. Her places of pilgrimage are Finlandia Hall, Stora Enso’s Headquarters, Aalto’s own home and his studio.

The Aalto stool, which has now reached the venerable age of 80, will be prominently on display in the coming year. In January, STOOL 60 BY AALTO, a joint exhibition by the Alvar Aalto Museum and Artek, will visit Cologne, Germany, using the stool to exemplify Aalto’s simple, ascetic form language. In Finland A Stool Makes History, an exhibition curated especially for the anniversary year, will open in the Gallery at the Alvar Aalto Museum Jyväskylä in May.

“Aalto’s stackable, three-legged Stool 60, first shown to the public in 1933, is a functionalist classic of furniture design. The Aalto stool was not just a success when it first appeared, it is still a superlatively beautiful product today, and its simple form never ages,” says Kaarina Mikonranta, Chief Curator at the Alvar Aalto Museum.

Theexhibition by the Fiskars cabinet-maker Kari Virtanen, which opened in the Aalto Museum Gallery in the autumn, will continue until January 27. This shows Virtanen’s virtuoso woodworking skills. Alongside furniture in production, also on view are Virtanen’s latest feats of skill.

Read more about Elena Näsänen’s exhibition

Further information and requests for pictures:
producer Mari Forsberg, tel. +358 45 6790920,, Alvar Aalto Museum

‘Alvar Aalto Museum Exhibitions 2013’ calendar