On View: 20th-Century Decorative Arts, 4th Floor
It is rare for decorative arts objects to evoke an artistic movement, but this armchair, formerly owned by J. J. P. Oud (Dutch, 1890–1963), another De Stijl architect, has become an icon of the style; it expresses De Stijl ideology through balanced application of color and the arrangement of geometric elements. De Stijl artists shunned historicism and naturalism and sought new, abstract forms to express the ideals of the future.
33 1/2 x 26 x 26 in. (85.1 x 66 x 66 cm) (show scale)
Designated Purchase Fund
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Gerrit Th. Rietveld (Dutch, 1888-1964). Armchair, ca. 1917-1918. Painted beechwood, 33 1/2 x 26 x 26 in. (85.1 x 66 x 66 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Designated Purchase Fund, 71.73. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 71.73_threequarter_PS9.jpg)
3/4, 71.73_threequarter_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2016
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Frame constructed of 1" x 1" wooden bars, with wider wood used in arm supports; painted with black enamel and ends of each bar painted in yellow enamel to resemble freshly sawn timbers. Rectangular plywood sheets, painted in brick red enamel, form slanting seat and back supports; framework screwed together. Traces of blue paint under black (may have been repainted early); chair design based on a ten cm. module, approximately three times the width of posts and rails.
Designer: Gerrit Rietveld (1888-1964) Dutch architect of DeStijl group, was a friend of Mondrian whose later paintings closely resemble forms of this chair.
Condition: Good; scratches on reverse side of back support, scattered small nicks in paint.
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