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  • Timo Sarpaneva


    Art Brokerage: Timo Sarpaneva Finnish Glass Artist: October 31, 1926 - October 6, 2006. Timo Sarpaneva was an influential Finnish designer, sculptor, and educator best known in the art world for innovative work in glass, which often merged attributes of display art objects with utilitarian designations. While glass remained his most commonly addressed medium, he worked with metal, wood, textiles, and porcelain (china). Sarpaneva has entered homes around the world through his industrial design of upscale, artistically conceived items, including cast-iron cookware and porcelain dinnerware. His work was among the key components that helped to launch Finland's reputation as a trailblazer of design. Sarpaneva graduated from the Institute for Industrial Arts (the forerunner of the University of Arts and Design) in Helsinki in 1948 and received a PhD later. Shortly after he began to work with glass, he won the Iittala competition in engraved glass and was hired by the company in 1951 (other sources mention the previous year) as a designer and director of exhibitions. He won his first Grand Prix at the 1954 Milan Triennale for his clear glass series, which also went to his already well-established colleague at Iittala, Tapio Wirkkala. In 1956, Sarpaneva embraced colored glass as he developed Iittala's new upscale i-linija (i-line) series of plates, bottles, and other objects. Radical for that time, his involvement extended to the design of the packaging and of Iittala's name with a prominent, white, lower-case letter i in a red circle as the new line's trademark, which the company then adopted as its universal logo through the 21st century. Listings wanted by Art Brokerage.

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