Gerrit Rietveld

Designer, architect and cabinetmaker, Gerrit Rietveld is a pioneer of the Modern Movement. He is distinguished from his peers by his multidisciplinary talent: cabinetmaking and architecture. His progressive vision and his creations have particularly marked the history of architecture and furniture in the Netherlands and beyond.

photographie en noir et blanc de gerrit_thomas_rietveld- architecte et designer hollandais - Yourse

A dual talent

The son of a furniture maker, Gerrit Thomas Rietveld (1888-1964) was born in Utrecht, the Netherlands. His career began at the age of 12 as an apprentice in his father's cabinetmaking workshop. He then trained as a goldsmith and worked for the jeweler C. J. Begeer. At the same time, he enrolled in the evening classes of P.J. Klaarhamer where he learned architectural design. At the age of 23, he founded his own architecture and interior design studio in his home town. His years as a craftsman cabinetmaker will greatly influence his vision of design and architecture.

The De Stijl Movement

Inspired by the De Stijl Movement, an avant-garde movement from Amsterdam, Derrit Rietveld created a pre-painted prototype of a wooden slatted chair in 1918 that was a manifesto of the movement. It is the opposite of everything that was done at the time in terms of furniture: monochrome, its structure is simple and the forms basic. He quickly became a member of the movement and met Theo van Doesburg and Jacobus Johannes Pieter Oud. In 1923, influenced by Mondrian's "Composition in Red, Yellow, Blue and Black", he painted "the slatted chair", which became the Red and Blue chair. Published in De Stijl, the artistic magazine of the movement, it is a real effervescence and the sign of the beginning of the success of Gerrit Rietveld.

The works of Gerrit Rietveld

All of Rietveld's works testify to his innovative vision. Among the most important are: the "Schröder House" in Utrecht from 1924, the "Row-Houses" in Utrecht from 1931/34, the Dutch Pavilion at the Venice Biennale from 1954, the Sculpture Pavilion at the Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller in Otterloo and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam from 1955. Cassina chose for its production the chairs "Red and Blue" and "Zig-Zag" (1934), the small table "Schröder 1" (1923), the armchair and sofa "Utrecht" (1935)

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