Red and Blue Chair2018-03-08T13:20:16-04:00

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Red and Blue Chair

Rietveld designed his famous Red and Blue Chair in 1917. This iconic chair represents one of the first explorations in three dimensions by the De Stijl art movement. Initially made in plain beech wood, the design was deliberately kept as simple as possible because Rietveld wanted it to be mass-produced rather than crafted by hand.

DESIGNER | Gerrit Rietveld, 1923

Red and Blue Chair

H: 35″
W: 26″
D: 33″

Rietveld designed his famous Red and Blue Chair in 1917. This iconic chair represents one of the first explorations in three dimensions by the De Stijl art movement. Initially made of plain beech wood, the design was deliberately kept as simple as possible because Rietveld wanted it to be mass-produced rather than crafted by hand.

Two years after making the chair, Rietveld joined the De Stijl movement, and it was under the auspices of its most famous member, Piet Mondrian, that, in 1923, the chair was painted in the distinctive colors of red, yellow, blue and black. The De Stijl movement was founded in 1917, and its members believed in pure abstraction by reducing pieces to their essential forms and pure colors. Furniture was simplified to horizontal and vertical lines, and they used only primary colors with black and white.

The Red and Blue Chair is on permanent display at the Bienenstock Furniture Library, in the Pat Plaxico Garden.

Gerrit Rietveld

Rietveld was born in 1888 in Utrecht, a municipality in the Netherlands, as the son of a joiner. He left school at 11 to be apprenticed to his father. When he opened his furniture workshop in 1917, Rietveld had taught himself drawing, painting, and model-making. Afterwards, he set up in business as a cabinet-maker. In 1918, he started his own furniture factory.

Rietveld was concerned with social housing, inexpensive production methods, new materials, prefabrication, and standardization. In 1927, he was experimenting with prefabricated concrete slabs, a very unusual material at that time. In the 1920s and 1930s, however, all his commissions came from private individuals, and it was not until the 1950s that he was able to put his progressive ideas about social housing into practice.

Red Blue Chair  | c.1923

Manufacturer

Original: G. van de Groenekan | Netherlands
Current: Cassina | Italy

Build

Dimensions: 26″W x 33″D x 35″H
Material: painted metal