Rietveld

In the fourth posting on the theme of architect/designer I am looking at Gerrit Rietveld (24 June 1888 – 26 June 1964) who was a Dutch furniture designer and architect. One of the principal members of the Dutch artistic movement called De Stijl, Rietveld is famous for his Red and Blue Chair and for the Rietveld Schröder House, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rietveld designed his famous Red and Blue Chair in 1917. In 1918, he started his own furniture factory, and changed the chair's colors after becoming influenced by the 'De Stijl' movement, of which he became a member in 1919, the same year in which he became an architect.

Red and Blue Chair (1917) He designed his first building, the Rietveld Schröder House, in 1924, in close collaboration with the owner Truus Schröder-Schräder. Built in Utrecht on the Prins Hendriklaan 50, the house has a conventional ground floor, but is radical on the top floor, lacking fixed walls but instead relying on sliding walls to create and change living spaces. The design seems like a three-dimensional realization

of a Mondrian painting. .

Note how similar in style the above detail looks to his Berlin Chair (1923) Rietveld broke with the 'De Stijl' in 1928 and became associated with a more functionalist style of architecture known as either Nieuwe Zakelijkheid or Nieuwe Bouwen. which was finished after his death. The same year he joined the Congrès Internationaux d'Architecture Moderne.The Rietveld Schröder House. He built hundreds of . He designed the "Zig-Zag" chair in 1934 and started the design of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

many of which are in the city of Utrecht. . Zig-Zag Chair (1934) His work was neglected when rationalism came into vogue but he later benefited from a revival of the style of the 1920s thirty years later.homes.

Dining Chair (1919) .

Steel Chair (1927) .

Rietveld is famous for hisRed and Blue Chair and for the Rietveld Schröder House. Rietveld had taught himself drawing. 24 June 1888–25 June 1964) was a Dutch furniture designer and architect. In . Begeer. painting and model-making. J. Rietveld designed his famous Red and Blue Chair in 1917. Rietveld aimed for simplicity in construction. He afterwards set up in business as a cabinet[3] maker.[2] By the time he opened his own furniture workshop in 1917. Contents [hide]      1 Biography 2 Recognition 3 Gallery 4 References 5 External links Biography [edit] Rietveld was born in Utrecht in 1888 as the son of a joiner. which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the principal members of the Dutch artistic movement called De Stijl.Steltman Chair (1963) Gerrit Thomas Rietveld (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɣɛrɪt ˈtoːmɑs ˈritfɛlt]. a jeweller in Utrecht. Hoping that much of his furniture would [4] eventually be mass-produced rather than handcrafted. from 1906 to 1911. He left school at 11 to be apprenticed to his father and enrolled at night school[1] before working as a draughtsman for C.

however. the Rietveld Schröder House. In subsequent years he was given many prestigious commissions. in projects in Utrecht and Reeuwijk. Utrecht. Van Tricht built hundreds of homes. Rietveld broke with 'De Stijl' in 1928 and became associated with a more functionalist style of architecture. prefabrication and standardisation. Venice and New York.[10] Recognition [edit] Rietveld had his first retrospective exhibition devoted to his architectural work at the Centraal Museum. the exhibition “Rietveld‟s Universe” opened at the Centraal Museum and compared him and his work with famous contemporaries like Wright. but he later benefited from a revival of the style of the 1920s thirty years later. including the Dutch pavilion for the Venice Biennale (1953). "Gerrit Rietveld: A Centenary Exhibition" at the Barry Friedman Gallery. in 1961 Rietveld set up a partnership with the architects Johan Van Dillen and J. Walter Gropius invited Rietveld to exhibit at the Bauhaus.1918. Built in Utrecht on the Prins Hendriklaan 50. Interest in his work revived as a result. From the late 1920s he was concerned with social housing.[12] . Han Schröder. Designed for the display of small sculptures at the Third International Sculpture Exhibi tion in Arnhem‟s Sonsbeek Park in 1955. a very unusual material at that time. In 1927 he was already experimenting with prefabricated concrete slabs. in close collaboration with the owner Truus Schröder-Schräder. The same year he joined the Congrès Internationaux d'Architecture Moderne. he started his own furniture factory. in 1924. and it was not until the 1950s that he was able to put his progressive ideas about social housing into practice. The contacts that he made at De Stijl gave him the opportunity to exhibit abroad as well. the name was [11] changed to the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in honour of Rietveld.[8] In order to handle all these projects. New York. the art academies in Amsterdam and Arnhem. who became one of the first female architects in the [6] Netherlands. in 1958. new materials. known as either Nieuwe Zakelijkheid or Nieuwe Bouwen. In the 1920s and 1930s. He designed his first building. in 1988 was the first comprehensive presentation of the Dutch architect's original works ever held in the U. In [5] 1923.[9] His work was neglected when rationalism came into vogue.S. His involvement in the Schröder House exerted a strong influence on Truus' daughter. The design seems like a three-dimensional realization of aMondrian painting. lacking fixed walls but instead relying on sliding walls to create and change living spaces.[7] Rietveld designed the Zig-Zag Chair in 1934 and started the design of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. When the art academy in Amsterdam became part of the higher professional education system in 1968 and was given the status of an Academy for Fine Arts and Design. the house has a conventional ground floor. Rietveld's „Sonsbeek Pavilion‟ was rebuilt with new materials at the Kröller-Müller Museum in 2010. Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe. inexpensive production methods. In 1951 Rietveld designed a retrospective exhibition about De Stijl which was held in Amsterdam. The house has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. and changed the chair's colors after becoming influenced by the 'De Stijl' movement. The highlight of a celebratory “Rietveld Year” in Utrecht. the same year in which he became an architect. of which he became a member in 1919. which was finished after his death. and the press room for the UNESCO building in Paris. all his commissions came from private individuals. many of them in the city of Utrecht. but is radical on the top floor.

[2] Contents [hide]               1 The Netherlands 1872–1912 2 Paris 1911–1914 3 The Netherlands 1914–1919 4 Paris 1919–1938 5 London and New York 1938–1944 6 Wall works 7 Death 8 References in culture 9 Partial list of works 10 See also 11 Footnotes 12 References 13 Further reading 14 External links The Netherlands 1872–1912 [edit] . upon which was painted a grid of vertical and horizontal black lines and the three primary colors.[1] Between his 1905 painting. 1872 – February 1. He was an important contributor to the De Stijl art movement and group. He evolved a non-representational form which he termed Neo-Plasticism. The River Amstel.Mondrian n (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈpiːt ˈmɔndriaːn]. which was founded by Theo van Doesburg. March 7. 1944) was a Dutch painter. This consisted of white ground. later [ˈmɔndriɔn]. and his 1907 Amaryllis. Mondrian changed the spelling of his signature from Mondriaan to Mondrian.

Netherlands. . Although it is in no sense Abstract. These Pastoral images of his native country depictwindmills.Mondrian's birthplace in Amersfoort. when his father.[5] After a strictly Protestant upbringing. Pieter Cornelius Mondriaan.[6] He already was qualified as a teacher. including Pointillism and the vivid colors of Fauvism. Fritz Mondriaan (a pupil of Willem Maris of the Hague School of artists). Museum of Modern Art. consisting largely of landscapes. illustrating the influence various artistic movements had on Mondrian. oil and pencil on cardboard. a museum In this house. and rivers. Avond is the earliest of Mondrian's works to emphasize the primary colors. fields. View from the Dunes with Beach and Piers. even augurs future developments by using a palette consisting almost entirely of red. initially in the Dutch Impressionist manner of the Hague School and then in a variety of styles and techniques documenting his search for a personal style. now The Mondriaan House. Mondrian entered the Academy for Fine Art in Amsterdam. including such Post-Impressionist works as The Red Mill and Trees in Moonrise. a scene of haystacks in a field at dusk. These paintings are most definitely Representational. these paintings are still firmly rooted in nature. yellow. now the Villa Mondrian. Domburg. Most of his work from this period is Naturalistic or Impressionistic. [3] Piet Mondrian. 1909. and. in 1892. and blue.[2] The family moved to Winterswijk in the east of the country. He was descended from Christian Dirkzoon Monderyan who lived in The Hague as early as 1670. the second of his parents' children. Although the result leads the viewer to begin emphasizing the forms over the content. was appointed Head Teacher at a local primary school. Piet Mondrian lived from 1880 to 1892 Mondrian was born in Amersfoort in the Netherlands. On display in the Gemeentemuseum in the Hague are a number of paintings from this period. inWinterswijk. but he also practiced painting. Another painting.[4] He began his career as a teacher in Primary Education. Evening (Avond) (1908). and it is only the knowledge of Mondrian's later achievements that leads one to search for the roots of his future abstraction in these works. New York City The earliest paintings that show an inkling of the abstraction to come are a series of canvases from 1905 to 1908.[4] Mondrian was introduced to art from a very early age: his father was a qualified drawing teacher. which depict dim scenes of indistinct trees and houses with reflections in still water. the younger Piet often painted and drew along the river Gein. with his uncle.

an early experimentation with Cubism In 1911. the influence of the Cubist style of Picasso and Georges Braque appeared almost immediately in Mondrian's work. In 1908. Van der Leck's use of only primary colors in his art greatly influenced Mondrian. and. in. While Mondrian was visiting home in 1914. After a meeting with Van der Leck in 1916. Gray Tree. Blavatsky believed that it was possible to attain a more profound knowledge of nature than that provided by empirical means. While Mondrian was eager to absorb the Cubist influence into his work. in 1913. there meeting Bart van der Leck and Theo van Doesburg. he stayed at the Laren artist's colony. he joined the Dutch branch of the Theosophical Society. Mondrian moved to Paris and changed his name (dropping an 'a' from Mondriaan) to emphasize his departure from The Netherlands. but increasingly. came under the influence of his precise .[10] While in Paris. 1912. "My technique which was more or less Cubist. The 1911 version [8] is Cubist. they are dominated by geometric shapes and interlocking planes. Paintings such as The Sea (1912) and his various studies of trees from that year still contain a measure of representation. World War I began. Mondrian and his later work were deeply influenced by the 1911 Moderne Kunstkring exhibition of Cubism in Amsterdam. The work of Blavatsky and a parallel spiritual movement. and much of Mondrian's work for the rest of his life was inspired by his search for that spiritual knowledge.Mondrian's art always was intimately related to his spiritual and philosophical studies. and therefore more or less pictorial. Paris 1911–1914 [edit] Piet Mondrian. he became interested in the theosophical movement launched by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky in the late 19th century. forcing him to remain in The Netherlands for the duration of the conflict. His search for simplification is shown in two versions of Still Life with Ginger Pot(Stilleven met Gemberpot). [9] it is reduced to a round shape with triangles and rectangles. significantly affected the further [7] development of his aesthetic. and. he began to fuse his art and his theosophical studies into a theory that signaled his final break from representational painting. the 1912 version. it seems clear that he saw Cubism as a "port of call" on his artistic journey. Rudolf Steiner's Anthroposophy. in 1909. Mondrian still attempted to reconcile his painting with his spiritual pursuits. who were both undergoing their own personal journeys toward Abstraction. During this period. This matched the changed signature on his works that is dated to before 1907. Mondrian wrote. rather than as a destination. The Netherlands 1914–1919 [edit] Unlike the Cubists.

in an emotional state so that an urge comes about to make something. as strong as [13] it is true. comes from a letter he wrote to H. until I reach the foundation (still just an external foundation!) of things… I believe it is possible that. however. Mondrian published “De Nieuwe Beelding in de schilderkunst” (“The New Plastic in Painting”)[12] in twelve installments during 1917 and 1918. Mondrian's best and most-often quoted expression of this theory. supplemented if necessary by other direct lines or curves. can become a work of art. in order to express general beauty with the utmost awareness. as with any painter. puts me. 1923 ."[11] With Van Doesburg. these basic forms of beauty. Paris 1919–1938 [edit] Piet Mondrian and Pétro (Nelly) van Doesburg in Mondrian's Paris studio.P. through horizontal and vertical lines constructed with awareness. but I want to come as close as possible to the truth and abstract everything from that. Nature (or. a journal of the De Stijl Group. led by high intuition. This was his first major attempt to express his artistic theory in writing. for which he adopted the term Neoplasticism.method. but not with calculation. Mondrian founded De Stijl (The Style). in which he published his first essays defining his theory. and brought to harmony and rhythm. Bremmer in 1914: I construct lines and color combinations on a flat surface. that which I see) inspires me.

only a few are left white. or gray. he flourished in an atmosphere of intellectual freedom that enabled him to embrace an art of pure abstraction for the rest of his life. and in 1920. This was not the culmination of his artistic evolution. Mondrian began producing grid-based paintings in late 1919. and nearly all of them are colored. Mondrian's work continued to evolve during his years in Paris. The forms themselves. rather than stopping abruptly. not black. The lines also tend to fade as they approach the edge of the painting. Mondrian returned to France. Mondrian's paintings arrive at what is to casual observers their definitive and mature form. In the early paintings of this style the lines delineating the rectangular forms are relatively thin. and more of them are left white than was previously the case. . the style for which he came to be renowned began to appear. which are larger and fewer in number. where he would remain until 1938. Blue.5 x 69 cm. oil on canvas. and they are gray. and Yellow. and Red. Thick black lines now separate the forms. Tate Gallery. however.Piet Mondrian. Although the refinements became more subtle. During late 1920 and 1921. 1930 Piet Mondrian. Blue. are filled with primary colors. Immersed in the crucible of artistic innovation that was post-war Paris. 72. London When the war ended in 1918. Composition II in Red. black. 1937–42. Composition with Yellow. smaller and more numerous than in later paintings.

which indeed they were. with the least amount of depth. the rectangular forms remain mostly colored. which is currently on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. are the white forms. as one might expect.In the 1921 paintings. almost giving the impression that the painting is a fragment of a larger work. As the years passed and Mondrian's work evolved further. Double lines particularly excited Mondrian. In the 1930s. also known as Composition With Blue and Composition in White and Blue. The "lozenge" paintings are square canvases tilted 45 degrees. and the artist appears to have used different techniques for the various elements. many of the black lines (but not all of them) stop short at a seemingly arbitrary distance from the edge of the canvas. lines began to take precedence over forms in his painting. These tendencies are particularly obvious in the “lozenge” works that Mondrian began producing with regularity in the mid-1920s. although they are subtle. a close examination of this painting begins to reveal something of the artist's method. he began to use thinner lines and double lines more frequently. Here too. which clearly have been painted in layers. Most interesting. for he believed they offered his paintings a new dynamism which he was eager to explore. this painting consists only of two black. colored blue. Although one is hampered by the glass protecting the painting. perpendicular lines and a small triangular form. although the divisions between the rectangular forms remain intact. The black lines are the flattest elements. if any at all. as though they are overwhelming the lines and the colors. all running in one direction. Schilderij No. The colored forms have the most obvious brush strokes. As the years progressed. however. so that they hang in a diamond shape.[original research?] Mondrian's paintings are not composed of perfectly flat planes of color. Typical of these is Schilderij No. punctuated with a few small colored forms. using brush strokes running in different directions. 1 may be the most extreme extent of Mondrian's minimalism. Brush strokes are evident throughout. One of the most minimal of Mondrian's canvases. This generates a greater sense of depth in the white forms. he began extending all of the lines to the edges of the canvas and he also began to use fewer and fewer colored forms. as Mondrian's paintings of this period came to be increasingly dominated by white space. The lines extend all the way to the edges of the canvas. favoring white instead. London and New York 1938–1944 [edit] . and by the toll that age and handling have obviously taken on the canvas. 1: Lozenge With Two Lines and Blue (1926).

1939–1942. The finished works from this later period demonstrate an unprecedented business. because there were quite a few canvases that he began in Paris or London which he only completed months or years later in Manhattan. creating a new sense of depth by the addition of a colored layer on top of the black one.Piet Mondrian. Mondrian produced Lozenge Composition With Four Yellow Lines (1933). The newlycolored areas are thick. and it is startling to see color in a Mondrian painting that is unbounded by black. this practice remained dormant in Mondrian's work until he arrived in Manhattan. almost bridging the gap between lines and forms. such as Composition (1938) / Place de la Concorde (1943). After the Netherlands were invaded and Paris fell in 1940. then appear to shimmer. In this painting and the unfinished Victory Boogie Woogie (1942–44). Some of Mondrian's later works are difficult to place in terms of his artistic development. occasionally interlacing to create a greater sense of depth than his previous works. private collection In September 1938. which the artist could rearrange at will to experiment with different designs. at which time he began to embrace it with abandon. placed in an overlapping arrangement that is almost cartographical in appearance. where he would remain until his death. Composition 10. The new canvases that Mondrian began in Manhattan are even more startling. An unfinished 1941 version of this work uses strips of painted paper tape. Mondrian replaced former solid lines with lines created from small adjoining rectangles of color. and yellow lines. Other works mix long lines of red amidst the familiar black lines. He spent many long hours painting on his own until his hands blistered and he sometimes cried or made himself sick. After that one painting. created in part by using small . and indicate the beginning of a new idiom that was cut short by the artist's death. Mondrian left Paris in the face of advancing fascism and moved to London. however. colored lines instead of black ones. drawing the viewer into those neon lights. blue. The piece is made up of a number of shimmering squares of bright color that leap from the canvas. running between the longer black lines. New York City (1942) is a complex lattice of red. he appears to have taken unfinished black-line paintings from Paris and completed them in New York by adding short perpendicular lines of different colors. His painting Broadway Boogie-Woogie (1942–43) at The Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan was highly influential in the school of abstract geometric painting. he left London for Manhattan. or from a black line to the edge of the canvas. In some examples of this new direction. a simple painting that introduced what for him was a shocking innovation: thick. with more lines than any of his work since the 1920s.

Larger unbounded rectangles of color punctuate the design. representing the most profound development in Mondrian's work since his abandonment of representational art in 1913. paradoxically and simultaneously. While Mondrian's works of the 1920s and 1930s tend to have an almost scientific austerity about them. a process that directly fed the next period of painting. he set about at once to make his studio a nurturing environment for paintings he had in mind that would increasingly express the principles of Neo-Plasticism about which he had been writing for two years. that he had ever inhabited. the forms have indeed usurped the role of the lines. In 2008 the Dutch television program Andere Tijden found the only known movie footage with [14] Mondrian. Smaller colored paper squares and rectangles. and set about to recreate the environment he had learned over the years was most congenial to his modest way of life and most stimulating to his art. repositioning the colored cutouts. he was there for only a few months. but found. The research found that the painting was in very good condition and that Mondrian painted the composition in one session. Holtzman (who was also Mondrian‟s heir) traced the wall compositions precisely. tables and storage cases he designed and fashioned meticulously from discarded orange and apple-crates. as he died of pneumonia in February 1944. he had established a creative schedule in which a period of painting took turns with a period of experimentally regrouping the smaller papers on the walls. accented the walls. Before dismantling the studio. across the Atlantic to Manhattan. through wartime moves from Paris to London‟s Hampstead in 1938 and 1940. Tragically. he tacked up large rectangular placards.pieces of paper tape in various colors. artist Harry Holtzman. Visitors to this last studio seldom saw more than one or two new canvases. Then again he addressed the walls. these are bright. It was a pattern he followed for the rest of his life. prepared exact portable facsimiles of the space each had . In these final works. was both kinetic and serene. After his death. It also was found that the composition was changed radically by Mondrian shortly before his death by using small pieces of colored tape. that eight large compositions of colored bits of paper he had tacked and re-tacked to the walls in ever-changing relationships constituted together an environment that. often to their astonishment. Then came an intense period of painting. Fritz Glarner. adding to their number. carefully documented the studio on film and in still photographs before opening it to the public for a six-week exhibition. He painted the high walls the same off-white he used on his easel and on the seats. opening another new door for Mondrian's development as an abstractionist. stimulating and restful. Mondrian moved into his second and final Manhattan studio at 15 East 59th Street. The discovery of the film footage was announced at the end of a two-year research program on the Victory Boogie Woogie. The Boogie-Woogie paintings were clearly more of a revolutionary change than an evolutionary one. lively paintings. some with smaller concentric rectangles inside them. Before long. reflecting the upbeat music that inspired them and the city in which they were made. To hide the studio's structural flaws quickly and inexpensively. each in a single color or neutral hue. It was the best space. At the age of 71 in the fall of 1943. Mondrian said. Mondrian‟s friend and sponsor in Manhattan. composed together. He glossed the top of a white metal stool in the same brilliant primary red he applied to the cardboard sheath he made for the radio-phonograph that spilled forth his beloved jazz from well-traveled records. Wall works [edit] When the 47-year-old Piet Mondrian left the Netherlands for unfettered Paris for the second and last time in 1919. and another painter friend. producing new tensions and equilibrium. altering the dynamics of color and space.

at the Akademie der Künste (Academy of The Arts). These portable Mondrian compositions have become known as "The Wall Works". Death . the XXII Biennial of Sao Paulo (1994).occupied. once in SoHo at The Carpenter + Hochman Gallery (1984). the first time to be shown in Europe. The University of Michigan (1995) and. They have been exhibited twice since Mondrian‟s death at Manhattan‟s Museum of Modern Art (1983/1995-96). Japan (1993). in Berlin (February 22 – April 22. and affixed to each the original surviving cut-out components. once each at Galerie Tokoro in Tokyo. 2007).

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