Red and Blue Chair – 1918


The Red and Blue Chair is a chair designed in 1918 by Gerrit Rietveld. It represents one of the first explorations by the De Stijl art movement in three dimensions.

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In the Red Blue Chair, Rietveld manipulated rectilinear volumes and examined the interaction of vertical and horizontal planes, much as he did in his architecture. Although the chair was originally designed in 1918, its color scheme of primary colors (red, yellow, blue) plus black, so closely associated with the De Stijl group and its most famous theorist and practitioner Piet Mondrian, was applied to it around 1923. Hoping that much of his furniture would eventually be mass-produced rather than handcrafted, Rietveld aimed for simplicity in construction. The pieces of wood that comprise the Red and Blue Chair are in the standard lumber sizes readily available at the time.


Info source: www.moma.org

Red and blue Chair
Red and Blue Chair, G. Rietveld, 1917

Image source: www.moma.org

The Museum of Modern Art, which houses the chair in its permanent collection, a gift from Philip Johnson, states that the red, blue and yellow colors were added around 1923. The chair also resides at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. It features several Rietveld joints.

Info source: en.wikipedia.org

What is the philosophy of Rietveld?

Rietveld and his colleagues in the De Stijl art and architecture movement sought to create a utopia based on a harmonic human-made order, which they believed could renew Europe after the devastating turmoil of World War I. New forms, in their view, were essential to this rebuilding.

Info source: www.moma.org

The Schröder House, G. Rietveld, 1924
The Schröder House, G. Rietveld, 1924

Image source: architecturalmoleskine.blogspot.it

How is made the Red and Blue Chair?

The Red and Blue Chair consists of straight boards and battens, the seat is lacquered blue and the back red. The cut surfaces of the frame battens are yellow, the battens themselves black. The effect of this color scheme made the chair seem to almost disappear against the black walls and floor of the Schröder House (1924) where it was later placed. The areas of color appeared to float, giving it an almost transparent structure.

Gerrit Rietveld himself seems to have viewed his chair as a work of art since he called it a “spatial creation”, designating a sculpture in space, rather than a piece of furniture. The Red and Blue Chair was shown in the journal De Stijl and was also exhibited in a show mounted by the Bauhaus, where it made quite an impact.

Info source: www.gerrit-thomas-rietveld.com, en.wikipedia.org

For more references, please also visit: www.jbdesign.it/idesignpro

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