Gerrit Thomas Rietveld - Design New York Tuesday, June 11, 2013 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Wright, Chicago, "Important Design," December 8, 2009, lot 162

  • Literature

    Theodore M. Brown, The Work of G. Rietveld, Architect, Cambridge, 1958, pp. 24, 33, 166 for early examples
    Daniele Baroni, The Furniture of Gerrit Thomas Rietveld, New York, 1978, pp. 49, 58-59 for early examples
    Marijke Küper and Ida van Zijl, Gerrit Th. Rietveld 1888-1964, The Complete Works, Utrecht, 1992, p. 246
    Peter Vöge, The Complete Rietveld Furniture, Rotterdam, 1993, pp. 31, 42 for early examples
    Ida van Zijl, Gerrit Rietveld, London, 2010, pp. 41, 51, 62, 64, 66, 162, 190, 223 for early examples

  • Catalogue Essay

    Rietveld first conceived and realized a ceiling light with two vertical and two horizontal tubes for the clinic of Dr. Hartog in Maarssen, the Netherlands. In 1924 he recreated the lamp with one vertical and two horizontal tubes for use in the Schröder house in Utrecht. According to Peter Vöge in The Complete Rietveld Furniture, this was the practical solution to the varying voltages used in the Netherlands at the time. The present lot is an example of the second design, production of which began again in the early 1950s during a period of renewed interest in Rietveld's work and exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum and The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

  • Artist Biography

    Gerrit Thomas Rietveld

    Dutch • 1888 - 1964

    Gerrit Thomas Rietveld began as an apprentice in his father's cabinetmaking workshop, going on to train and work as a draftsman. In 1917 he started his own furniture-making workshop in Utrecht. Positive critical review by Theo van Doesburg in his journal De Stijl resulted in near-instantaneous influence on broader developments in European modernism. This connection to the De Stijl movement also inspired him to introduce color to the posts, rails and terminals of his furniture. His resulting "Red-blue" armchair is among the most iconic chair designs of the twentieth century.

    From the beginning, Rietveld embraced modernist principles of functionalism, simplicity of form and mass-production, and eventually moved away from De Stijl to become a member of the Congrès Internationaux d'Architecture Moderne (CIAM). Rietveld worked through the post-war years, completing a number of private residences, housing developments and institutions. He continued to design furniture for these commissions as well as for retailers like Metz & Co.

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Ceiling light

designed 1924, executed 1970s
Painted wood, neon tube lights.
32 x 15 x 15 in. (81.3 x 38.1 x 38.1 cm)
Produced by Gerard van de Groenekan, the Netherlands.

$7,000 - 9,000 

Sold for $22,500

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Meaghan Roddy
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+ 1 212 940 1266


New York 11 June 2013 11am