Gerrit Thomas Rietveld (Utrecht, 1888-1964) Original ‘Red Blue chair’ Designed in 1919/1923 Executed by G.A. van de Groenekan, circa 1970, De Bilt, The Netherlands Frame; solid beech wood slats with beech wood dowels, stained dark brown/black, the ends finished with chromate yellow paint. Seat; plywood, finished monochrome with ultramarine blue paint. Back: plywood finished monochrome with vermilion red paint H 86 x W 65.9 x D 82.5 cm The chair is marked with the paper label of Rietveld’s regular cabinet maker, Gerard van de Groenekan Provenance: from the first owner Architect Ruud Wilmink from Amsterdam. At the end of his architecture studies, he personally ordered the chair from Gerard van de Groenekan in De Bilt around 1970 for the furnishing of his first home
In 1919, architect Gerrit Rietveld joined the legendary ‘De Stijl’ group, an esthetic movement founded by Dutch artists and architects two years earlier. Inspired by the work of his fellow ‘De Stijl’ member Bart van der Leck, Rietveld started experimenting with the use of primary colors in the designs for furniture around 1921-1922. Probably about 1923 – a hundred years ago! – he made the first copy of his wooden-slat easy-chair using Red Yellow and Blue, the color scheme that would bring the chair its world fame as an icon of De Stijl movement.