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Decorative Arts

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.
MEDIUM Painted beechwood
  • Place Made: Netherlands
  • DATES ca. 1917-1918
    DIMENSIONS 33 1/2 x 26 x 26 in. (85.1 x 66 x 66 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS no marks
    SIGNATURE no signature
    INSCRIPTIONS no inscriptions
    COLLECTIONS Decorative Arts
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view on the 20th-Century Decorative Arts, 4th Floor
    CREDIT LINE Designated Purchase Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION 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
    IMAGE overall, 71.73_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION 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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