Gerrit Rietveld. Red Blue Chair. 1918–1923

Gerrit Rietveld Red Blue Chair 1918–1923

  • Not on view

In the Red Blue Chair, Rietveld manipulated rectilinear volumes and examined the interaction of vertical and horizontal planes in much the same way as he did in his architecture. Although the chair was originally designed in 1918, its color scheme of primary colors (red, yellow, blue) plus black—so closely associated with the Dutch de Stijl art and architecture movement—was applied around 1923. Hoping that much of his furniture would eventually be mass-produced rather than handcrafted, Rietveld aimed for simplicity in construction. The pieces of wood that compose the Red Blue Chair are in the standard lumber sizes readily available at the time.

Rietveld believed that there was a greater goal for the furniture designer than just physical comfort: the well-being and comfort of the spirit. Rietveld and his de Stijl colleagues—including the movement’s most famous theorist and practitioner, Piet Mondrian—sought to create a utopia based on a harmonic human-made order, which they believed could renew Europe after the devastating turmoil of World War I. New forms, in their view, were essential to this rebuilding.

Publication excerpt from MoMA Highlights: 375 Works from The Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2019)
Medium
Painted wood
Dimensions
34 1/8 x 26 x 33" (86.7 x 66 x 83.8 cm), seat h. 13" (33 cm)
Credit
Gift of Philip Johnson
Object number
487.1953
Copyright
© 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / Beeldrecht, Amsterdam
Department
Architecture and Design

Installation views

MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos.

If you notice an error, please contact us at digital@moma.org.

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at firenze@scalarchives.com. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA's Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email text_permissions@moma.org. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to archives@moma.org.

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to digital@moma.org.