Gerrit Thomas Rietveld - Design London Tuesday, September 19, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Conrad Fischer Galerie, Düsseldorf, acquired directly from Gerard van de Groenekan
    Dr. Frank Schwarz, 1971
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Literature

    Ida van Zijl, Gerrit Rietveld, London, 2010, pp. 35, 65, 190, 203 for earlier examples

  • 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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'Red-blue' armchair

designed 1919, executed circa 1970
Painted beech, painted beech-veneered plywood.
86.5 x 66 x 80.5 cm (34 x 25 7/8 x 31 3/4 in.)
Produced by Gerard van de Groenekan, De Bilt, the Netherlands. Underside branded twice with manufacturer's mark H.G.M./G.A.v.d GROENEKAN/DE BILT NEDERLAND.

£6,000 - 8,000 

Sold for £7,500

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London Auction 20 September 2017