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De Stijl




Gerrit Rietveld's red-blue armchair 1919*

Gerrit Rietveld's red-blue armchair is the most compact visual statement of the principles of De Stijl.  Visually separate and discrete, each square-sectioned wooden member which makes up the structural frame of the chair extends beyond its point of juncture, probing the space that surround the chair as well as defining the space that flows freely through it.

There is no dovetailing.  Where the wooden rails cross they are held together by wooden pins.  The plywood planks of seat and back are fixed to this frame. The chair discloses its structure as clearly as a skeleton or scaffolding.  The seat is painted blue, the back red.  The frame is black with the sawn ends of each rail painted yellow.  Rietveld wrote about the chair. "The construction is attuned to the parts to insure that no part dominates or is subordinate to the others.  In this way, the whole stands freely and clearly in space, and the form stands out from the material." 

De Stijl is Dutch fo
r the Style. Not style as implied in "styling" (car styling, etc.)-but Style as the integral relationships of the parts to the whole and of the whole to the parts.  "Unity in Plurality" was the definition of Style given by the Dutch architect H.P. Berlage* whose buildings and writings were important influences in the early development of De Stijl.




Rietveld's Table Lamp 1925*

Rietveld's Table Lamp is made of steel with half-painted glass bulb.



Rietveld's  Print 1958* 




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* Rietvelds Red Blue arm chair:  Built by Michael D. Koepper,  Architect  and  
  David  G. Schneider, Architect.   Photo by David G. Schneider.
*
Rietveld's Table Lamp image: reference: www.MoMA.org  the Museum of Modern Art.
* Paul Overy, De Stijl, (London: Studio Vista, USA: Dutton and Co. Inc., 1969), p. 38.

*Rietveld's Centraal Museum Utrecht 1958 Print
Search Google "Rietveld's Print - Centraal Museum Utrecht Rietveld"