Traditional summer exhibition at Artek Helsinki brings in a piece of the wood-scented Littoinen factory where Alvar Aalto’s birch wood classics are fabricated to this day. Created in the spirit of Finland’s 100th anniversary, the exhibition reveals some of the secrets of wood bending and takes us from the early days of Artek to contemporary times.
Wood was the passion of Artek founder Alvar Aalto. He started to explore the possibilities of wood bending in the end of 1920s and developed several innovative methods, one of which is the patented L-leg system used in many of Artek’s Aalto collection pieces.
The Factory Visit exhibition presents the making of the L leg from massive wood to a finished product. The moulds of Arm Chair 41, known as the Paimio chair, as well as those of the arm rests of Chair 45 have been put on display. They are still in use today to bend the pieces of massive birch lamella by using traditional methods. The exhibition continues in the store with a collection of bent Aalto furniture classics, looking as youthful as they did at the time they were born.
The exhibition’s look, a documentary film about making the L leg, and sales items made for the exhibition have been created by creative studio Musuta of artist couple Jopsu and Timo Ramu. They have been inspired by the Artek factory, crafting by hand, and the warmth of wood.
The sales exhibition presents a limited number of designer Jopsu Ramu’s silkscreen-printed stools, art posters, and a beautifully streamlined ceramic bird sculpture.
This summer exhibition is open until 2 September 2017 on Monday to Friday from 10 am to 7 pm and on Saturdays from 10 am to 6 pm. The exhibition texts are available in Finnish, Swedish and English. Guided tours open to the public will be arranged in the store during the summer.