Red and Blue Chair
Lounge chair with frame in solid beechwood lacquered in black and yellow. Seat and back is plywood lacquered in red and blue. Red and Blue Chair MADE IN ITALY.
The Red and Blue Chair designed in 1917-1918 was at the forefront of the experiments undertaken by members of the Dutch-based De Stijl movement. The group sought to instill Neoplatonic thought into design, creating ultimate objects that expressed the perfection and spiritual harmony of geometry and primary colour. The original chair was constructed of unstained beech wood and was not painted, but in 1918 Reitveld repainted it in red, blue, yellow and black to echo the paintings of fellow De Stijl member Peit Mondrian. This color scheme made the chair almost disappear against the black walls and floor of the Schröder house where it was placed.
Gerrit Thomas Rietveld
Gerrit Thomas Rietveld was born in Utrecht in the Netherlands in 1888. After working in his father’s joinery business, he apprenticed at a jewellery studio. In 1911 he started his own cabinet-making firm, which he maintained for eight years. In this same period, he studied architecture. Through his studies he became acquainted with several founders of De Stijl. In 1917 Rietveld designed the Red Blue Chair, which signalled a radical change in architectural theory. His unusual furniture designs led to several housing commissions which he invariably designed in a Neo-plastic style. The designs utilized the free and variable use of space and showed a profound understanding of dynamic spatial ideas. In the late 1920s architecture in the Netherlands focused on the idea of “dematerialization”. This idea influenced a series of terrace houses with which Rietveld was involved. In 1928 Rietveld acted as a founding member of CIAM. With a few exceptions, the 1930s and 1940s were not particularly productive for Rietveld. Between 1942 and 1948, Rietveld taught at several institutions in the Netherlands. In 1963 he was elected an honorary member of the Bond van Nederlandse Architecten and in 1964 he received an honorary degree from the Technische Hochschule in Delft. Rietveld died in Utrecht in 1964.