Red and Blue Chair
DesignerGerrit Rietveld
Date1918
MaterialsLacquered wood
Style / traditionDe Stijl
Height88 cm (35 in)
Width66 cm (26 in)
Depth83 cm (33 in)

The Red and Blue Chair is a chair designed in 1917 by Gerrit Rietveld. It represents one of the first explorations by the De Stijl art movement in three dimensions. It was not painted its distinct colors until the early 1920s. Multiple versions of the chair exist and are housed in various collections.

History

The Red and Blue Chair is a chair designed in 1917 by Gerrit Rietveld. It represents one of the first explorations by the De Stijl art movement in three dimensions. It features several Rietveld joints.

The original chair was constructed of unstained beech wood and was not painted red, blue, yellow, and black until around 1923.[1][2] Fellow member of De Stijl and architect, Bart van der Leck, saw his original model and suggested that he add bright colours.[3] He built the new model of thinner wood and painted it entirely black with areas of primary colors attributed to De Stijl movement. The effect of this color scheme made the chair seem to almost disappear against the black walls and floor of the Rietveld Schröder House, where it was later placed.[1] The areas of color appeared to float, giving it an almost transparent structure.[4]

A version of the chair was sold by Christies in 2011 for €10,625.[5]

Construction

In Rietveld's instructions on how to build the chair, he informs the craftsperson to print the following verse from Der Aesthet by Christian Morgenstern and attach it under the seat:

Rietveld did not maintain an authoritative specification of the measurements or colours and there are various versions of the chair.[7]

Collections

The Museum of Modern Art houses the chair in its permanent collection—a gift from Philip Johnson[2]—and an original example is on display at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City.[8] Versions of the chair are also on display at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the Toledo Museum of Art in Toledo, Ohio.[9][10]

The Red and Blue Chair was on loan[citation needed] to the Delft University of Technology Faculty of Architecture as part of an exhibition when a fire destroyed the entire building in May 2008. The Red and Blue Chair was saved by firefighters.[11]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Victoria and Albert Museum. Modern Chairs, 1918–1970: an international exhibition presented by the Whitechapel Art Gallery in association with the Observer, arranged by the Circulation Department, Victoria and Albert Museum, 22 July–30 August 1970 (London: Whitechapel Gallery, 1970), 8.
  2. ^ a b "Gerrit Rietveld. Red Blue Chair. 1918–1923 | MoMA". The Museum of Modern Art. Archived from the original on 2009-02-16. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  3. ^ Klaus-Jürgen Sembach, Twentieth Century Furniture Design (Köln : Taschen, c2002), 93.
  4. ^ Klaus-Jürgen Sembach, Twentieth Century Furniture Design (Köln : Taschen, c2002), 92. Victoria and Albert Museum. Modern Chairs, 1918–1970: an international exhibition presented by the Whitechapel Art Gallery in association with the Observer, arranged by the Circulation Department, Victoria and Albert Museum, 22 July–30 August 1970 (London: Whitechapel Gallery, 1970), 8.
  5. ^ "The Red Blue Chair". Archived from the original on 2018-02-01. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  6. ^ Peter Drijver, Johannes Miemeijer, Rietveld meubels om zelf te maken (Bussum: Colophon, 2001), 28.
  7. ^ Drijver, Peter (2001). Rietveld meubels om zelf te maken = How to construct Rietveld furniture. Johannes Niemeijer. Bussum, Netherlands: Thoth. pp. 28–29. ISBN 90-6868-280-6. OCLC 49798167.
  8. ^ "Brooklyn Museum". www.brooklynmuseum.org. Archived from the original on 2018-02-01. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  9. ^ "Press Release". High Museum of Art. Archived from the original on 2011-01-01. Retrieved 2009-11-20.
  10. ^ "Red/blue Chair". Toledo Museum of Art. Retrieved 2024-06-15.
  11. ^ "TU Delft fire news story". 14 May 2008. Archived from the original on 2010-07-20. Retrieved 2008-05-14.