TIMO SARPANEVA – ONE OF THE WORLDS BEST DESIGNERS
Timo Sapaneva belonged to the generation of designers who, in the post-war decades, acted as Finland’s cultural ambassadors to the world, beginning with the Milan Triennales in the 1950s, in which Sarpaneva won numerous Grands Prix. The secret of Sarpaneva’s great success, which he also enjoys at home in Finland, is that he, better than any other, was able to transform everyday objects into art, to give hope amid the gloom of life, because the companion of beauty is hope. Sarpaneva appeared to live and work at the point where time, space and material meet, and he made that point visible through his objects. He was the poetic interpreter of the material world. As a designer and artist he was unusually versatile, working as happily with ceramics, metal, textile and wood as with glass. Glass is, nevertheless, perhaps the material that was closest to him; ‘because glass is the material of space, it is best suited as a material to be given to light’, as he said himself. And it is in capturing light that Sarpaneva was at his best: he had the ability to show us light as if seen from beneath the ice that covers the sea, or in the living foliage of the forest.
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