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Black Red and Blue Chair

c. 1920

by Gerrit Rietveld
for Cassina

Black Red and Blue Chair

by Gerrit Rietveld
for  Cassina

or Call to Order

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. 

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Gerrit Rietveld

Netherlands (1888–1964)

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.

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