< Back to Select Objects

Gerrit Rietveld
(b. Netherlands, 1888-1964)

Red Blue Chair, designed ca. 1918-23; manufactured by Cassina since 1973

Stained beech and lacquered multiplywood
Collection of O’Melveny & Myers LLP

TThis chair invites the sitter to take a seat on a blue plane, and lean back onto a red one. The stiffness of the planes contrasts with the idea of reclining. Black strips of wood, parallel or perpendicular to one another, elevate the body. They extend past their points of connection, ending with pops of yellow, which draw attention to the secure construction. Rietveld reduced the design of this chair to some of the basic elements of art, and consequentially, the chair elicits our response to line, color, form, and space. Rietveld conceived of this chair as an ideal arrangement based on harmony and order. It is an abstract composition of geometric forms and primary colors, and is meant to evoke the utopian goals of De Stijl (The Style) principles.