Rietveld & His Playful Chairs

I guess, many people would recognize this famous Red & Blue Chair that became an icon of not only Dutch design, but of the early XX century modernism in general (along with the paintings by Mondrian or the buildings of the Bauhaus school). Yet very few people would name the author of this char, a Dutch furniture designer and, later, architect Gerrit Reitveld; I guess, even fewer would recognize him on this picture, where he is still young and hardly known (although the chair had been done by that time, the first unpainted models appeared already by 1917).

The Netherlands celebrates the Year of Rietveld this year (Rietveld Jaar), with a lot of events and activities dedicated to this famous man. There is a dedicated website, very informative, and beautifully designed too; I found there this life trajectory of Rietveld designed in a very recognizable Rietveldian style:

They even created a special iPhone app, Rietveld Architecture, to help you in searching the nearest building designed by the maitre.

Next week the Utrecht’s Centraalmuseum launches a large exhibition Rietvelds Universum: Rietveld, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Theo van Doesburg, a unique panorama of modernist architecture and definitely worth visiting a place.

Perhaps a very different in stijl, but yet another event related to this anniversary will also be held next week, in the music club Effenaar in Eindhoven; a rap&rock band C-Mon & Kynski will be performing their Play Musical Chairs: An Ode to Gerrit Rietveld program; I am not sure I will manage to this particular performance, though, because it coincides with the opening of the Dutch Design Week.

PS: I am very proud that I start to celebrate this Year of Rietveld before it even started. Earlier this year we went to De Ploeg, an old factory designed by him near the Dutch town Bergijk, and I took a lot of pictures there. Some of them went to my blog of abstract photography aman_geld, serving as my homage to the master.

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