‘Red Blue chair’
Gerrit Thomas Rietveld (Utrecht 24-6-1888 - Utrecht 25-6-1964)
Frame; solid beech wood slats with beech wood pins/dowels, stained dark brown/black, the ends finished with Chromate yellow paint. Seat; plywood, finished monochrome with Ultramarine blue paint. Back: plywood finished monochrome with vermilion red paint.
The chair is marked with a paper label.
We have obtained this ‘Red Blue chair’ from the first owner Architect Ruud Wilmink from Amsterdam. At the end of his architecture studies, he personally ordered the chair from Gerard van de Groenekan in De Bilt around 1970 for the furnishing of his first home.
In 1919 Architect Gerrit Rietveld joined the legendary ‘De Stijl’ group, an esthetic movement founded by Dutch artists and architects two years earlier.
Inspired by the work of his fellow ‘De Stijl’ member Bart van der Leck, of whom we also have some interesting works in our collection, Rietveld started experimenting with the use of primary colors in the designs for furniture around 1921-1922. Probably about 1923 – a hundred years ago! – he made the first copy of his wooden-slat easy-chair using Red Yellow and Blue, the color scheme that would bring the chair its world fame as an icon of De Stijl movement.