Gerrit Thomas Rietveld (1888-1964)

Dutch architect and furniture designer, Gerrit Thomas Rietveld was a leading figure of the movement known as De Stijl.

Portrait of Gerrit Rietveld, old picture

image source: http://www.rietveldoriginals.com/inc/uploads/2013/08/Schermafbeelding-2013-05-21-om-14.53.01.png

About his life

Gerrit Thomas Rietveld was born on June 24, 1888, in Utrecht and lived there most of his life. He was trained as a cabinetmaker by his father (1899-1906) and as a jewelry designer in the studio of C. J. Begeer (1906-1911). Rietveld’s career as an independent architect began in 1919. Rietveld was a member of De Stijl from 1919 to 1931. In 1921 he began a period of collaboration with the designer Truus Schröder-Schräde. By the 1930s Rietveld’s time seemed to have passed, but with renewed interest in De Stijl following World War II, he again received important commissions. Rietveld died on June 25, 1964, in Utrecht.

info source: http://www.encyclopedia.com/people/literature-and-arts/architecture-biographies/gerrit-thomas-rietveld

Portrait of Gerrit Rietveld, old picture

image source: http://www.design-museum.de/fileadmin/_processed_/csm_18_Rietveld_with_model.crop1024x1024_01_96efedf942.jpg

What were his major works?

  • Among his major architectures there are:

a Amsterdam jewelry shop (1921), the Schröder House at Utrecht (1924), probably his most remarkable architecture and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000, which was designed for visual balance; the Row Houses at Utrecht (1931-34); the Dutch Pavilion at the Venice Biennial (1954); the Sculpture Pavilion in the Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller at Otterloo and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam (1955).

Schröder House, Gerrit Rietveld, 1924, Utrecht

image source: http://centraalmuseum.nl/media/generated/medialibrary/2012/05/Het_Rietveld_Schroderhuis_foto_Ernst_Moritz.jpg.630x378_q85_crop-1_upscale-1.jpg

  • Among his major furnitures there are:

the Red and Blue Chair (1918-1923), which looks almost like a 3D version of a Piet Mondrian painting; the Schröder 1 (1923); the Zig Zag Chair (1934) and the Utrecht (1935).

info source: https://www.artsy.net/artist/gerrit-thomas-rietveld

info source: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Gerrit-Thomas-Rietveld

info source: https://www.cassina.com/en/designer/gerrit-thomas-rietveld

Zig Zag Chair, Gerrit Rietveld, 1934

image source: https://dm4c9mjc2jvtf.cloudfront.net/product-media/D8L/800/600/Zig-Zag-Chair-in-natural-cherrywood.jpg

How can we identify Rietveld’s style?

Most of his works represent the De Stijl principles. Gerrit Rietveld adopted what he perceived to be a purer form of geometry, consisting of forms made up of straight lines and basic geometric shapes, largely rendered in the three primary colors. He embraced an abstract, pared-down aesthetic. Partly a reaction against the decorative excesses of Art Deco, the reduced quality of De Stijl art was envisioned by its creators as a universal visual language appropriate to the modern era.

info source: http://www.theartstory.org/movement-de-stijl.htm

 

Red and Blue Chair, Gerrit Rietveld, 1918-1923

image source: http://www.malikgallery.com/images/product-hirez/details/mc-c-1602/mc-c-1602-color.jpg