Gerrit Thomas Rietveld - Chairs and Furniture
Gerrit Thomas Rietveld
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Gerrit Thomas Rietveld

Utrecht, Netherlands

Born in Utrecht in 1888, the Dutch designer, architect and painter Gerrit Rietveld spent his entire life in the city of his birth. The son of a carpenter, Gerrit Rietveld was employed in his father's workshop until he was fifteen. Until 1913 Gerrit Rietveld was employed as a draftsman in the workshop of the goldsmith C.J.A. Begeer. From 1906, Gerrit Rietveld also attended evening courses, where he learned technical draftsmanship from the architect P.J.C. Klaarhamer.
In 1911-12 Gerrit Rietveld was a member of the group of artists known as Kunstliefde, with whom he also showed work. In 1917 Gerrit Rietveld established a furniture workshop in Utrecht. By 1919, however, Gerrit Rietveld had joined Theo van Doesburg, Piet Mondrian, and other artists to found "De Stijl"; Rietveld would become one of the most important and influential artists in that celebrated group. The "De Stijl" artists formulated a language of forms that was intended to attain the greatest objectivity and autonomy in a work of art; their works are stringently non-representational, radically reduced to a geometric arrangement of horizontals and verticals and a palette consisting of the primary colors red, yellow, and blue with the addition of black and white. De Stijl applied these principles to both two-dimensional and three-dimensional work, such as furnishings and architecture.