When the pandemic drove the New York–based Finnish photographer Janne Tuunanen back to Jyväskylä, he discovered a newfound appreciation for Aalto’s early projects in their shared Finnish hometown. Aalto’s renown was cemented by his later works of industrial and architectural design, but his hometown boasts his early and often overlooked work. Tuunanen wanted to bring attention to Jyväskylä and photograph the locations from a different angle.
The resulting series of photographs provides a unique and unexpected perspective on Aalto’s architecture. The precise composition and insightful angles draw the viewer’s attention to exquisite details often left out of images in architecture books and magazines. The photographer was inspired by the combination of different materials characteristic of Aalto’s architecture, beautiful and specific details, and the well-thought-out interior, which is conveyed in the harmonious layout of the images. The series includes, for instance, the University of Jyväskylä, Museum of Central Finland, Jyväskylä City Theatre, Muurame Church, and Muuratsalo Experimental House, the summer residence of Alvar and Elissa Aalto.
Architect and designer Alvar Aalto’s style is distinctively Finnish, strongly individual, and marked by a warm humanity. His buildings derive their aesthetic character from their dynamic relationship with their natural surroundings, their human scale, superbly executed details, unique treatment of materials, and ingenious use of lighting. As one of the co-founders of design company Artek, Aalto left a legacy with lasting resonance.
About the artist:
Photographer Janne Tuunanen has collaborated with institutions like the Royal College of Art and the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York. His works have been published in magazines such as Port, Pylot, Dwell, and Wallpaper.
This exhibition was commissioned and produced by The Consulate General of Finland in New York, The Embassy of Finland in Washington, D.C., and The Finnish Cultural Institute in New York, in collaboration with Alvar Aalto Foundation.