On View: De Stijl Designer Gerrit Rietveld

On View: De Stijl Designer Gerrit Rietveld

Sarah Rainwater
Jul 16, 2010

Through January of 2011, the Centraal Museum in Utrecht is celebrating the work of architect and furniture designer Gerrit Rietveld with an exhibition of his colorful geometric pieces and the launch of an iPhone app that helps visitors navigate to the many Rietveld-designed buildings in the city.

Rietveld, along with Piet Mondrian was a member of the Dutch De Stijl movement in the 1910s and 1920s — an abstract style that utilized simple geometry and primary colors. The Rietveld Schröder House (now a UNESCO World Heritage site), built in 1924 feels surprisingly modern and included an unconventional floor plan of movable walls that allowed for dynamic space configurations. The hard lines of Rietveld's chairs, while beautiful, don't necessarily look inviting, but he believed that furniture should be about more than just comfort — it should help the sitter remain alert and spiritually awake.

Visit the Rietveld Year website for more information about Gerrit Rietveld's work, the Rietveld iPhone App and the events presented by the Centraal Museum.

Images: 1, Hay Kranen / CC-BY; 3, Abbeville Press

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