Gerrit Thomas Rietveld
Gerrit Rietveld was born on 24.06.1888 in Utrecht, Holland. He was a Dutch architect and designer. He became known for his participation in the artist group De Stijl.
Rietveld was a master carpenter and initially worked in the family business. He acquired his architectural knowledge in evening classes. Gerrit Rietveld developed from a master carpenter to one of the most important architects and designers of the De Stijl group.
The De Stijl group of artists formed around a Dutch visual arts magazine of the same name. Which was published by Theo van Doesburg and appeared between 1917 and 1923. Rietveld was influential primarily through the Rietveld-Schröder House in Utrecht and the Red-Blue Chair. His ideas were also taken up in the Bauhaus.
Essential characteristics of his works, which were influenced by De Stijl, are the strict geometry and the reduction of the color scheme to the primary colors yellow, red and blue. They represent an attempt to bring together fine art, design and architecture. Which to a certain extent led to a genre-busting aesthetic.
Rietveld developed the red and blue chair in its basic form in 1917 and built it in a first version in 1918, with side panels under the armrests and without a colored frame. In 1919, Rietveld published an illustration of the chair in the magazine De Stijl.
It was not until 1923 that the chair received its characteristic color scheme, in the primary colors of red, blue, yellow and black. Whereas even in 1923 other color concepts - even colorless - can be seen in photographs.
The "red and blue chair" consists of 13 square timbers and two slats of beech wood. The seat and backrests are made of sawn wood. This favored the industrial production. The individual parts are glued together with wooden dowels.
The strict geometry and the open structure, are intended to overcome problems of form and space and thus make the interior tangible. Besides the Schröderhaus, this Red and Blue chair in particular made Rietveld famous.
After his death on 25.6.1964, his chairs were shown posthumously in the same year at Documenta III in Kassel, in the Industrial Design section.