Black Red and Blue Chair
The Black Red and Blue chair is one version of the iconic model. The structure is in black-stained beechwood with white contrasting parts. A green lacquered multi plywood complements the seatback. The lounge chair can have a single seat and backrest cushion in fabric or leather.
This chair, produced for the school teacher Wicher Zeilmaker, is one of the numerous versions of the iconic model designed in 1920. After analyzing the original pieces, it was discovered that the first was completely produced in unpainted wood. In the following years, Rietveld proposed various examples, monochrome or painted with other colors, depending on the client’s necessities and the interiors that the chair would furnish. The various owners used the chair as an abstract-realist sculpture in their interiors and, in some cases, as a simple tool for sitting on, adding cushions to make it more comfortable, just like Cassina offers for the Black Red and Blue today. For more, see the Red and Blue chair listed separately.
Born in Utrecht, Netherlands in 1888, Gerrit Rietveld is known best for his architectural and product designs. In 1917, Rietveld opened his own furniture shop, with an aim for simplicity in construction, knowing that factory production was key to future designs. Not a year later, he opened his own factory and began shifting his color palette due to his discovery of the De Stijl Movement. After joining the De Stijl, he spent time exhibiting at the Bauhaus under an invitation from Walter Gropius, and created notable architectural projects. His most significant building is the Rietveld Schroder House, completed in 1924; it featured moving panelled walls and is now an UNESCO World Heritage Site. By 1928, Rietveld shifted his design philosophy once again, breaking with De Stijl, as he opted for a more functionalist style of architecture. Noted furniture pieces by Rietveld include the Red and Blue Chair in 1917, along with the Zig Zag Chair designed in 1934.