Gerrit Th. Rietveld (1888-1964)
Original ‘Berlin Chair’
Executed by Rietveld’s regular cabinetmaker Gerard van de Groenekan, De Bilt The Netherlands, ca.1970
Elm wood and plywood with thin slats around some edges.
Painted monochrome in black, white and shades of gray.
106 x 73 x 58 cm. Marked with a brandmark
The ‘Berlin chair’ was designed in 1923 for the furnishing of an exhibition space for the “Juryfreie Kunstschau” in Berlin, for which Rietveld collaborated with another member of “De Stijl”, Vilmos Huszár.
With this design, Rietveld radically leaves the traditional shape of a chair with 4 legs. There is no frame, but the slats and planks from which the chair is built together form the construction and a balanced spatial composition of planes and lines.
We have obtained this ‘Berlin Chair’ from the first owner Architect Ruud Wilmink from Amsterdam. At the end of his architecture studies, he personally ordered the chair from Gerard van de Groenekan in De Bilt around 1970 for the furnishing of his first home. Quote:
“The furnishing of it (first home) was of course a challenging assignment for an aspiring architect like me. I made a design that included a number of chairs designed by Rietveld and went to De Bilt to order them from furniture maker Gerard van de Groenekan who, after the death of Gerrit Rietveld in 1964, had acquired the exclusive right to make them. I ordered four zigzag chairs, a Berlin chair and a red-blue chair.”
In addition to the ‘Berlin Chair’, we also have a ‘Red and Blue chair’ and four ‘ZigZag chairs’ from the interior of Architect Wilmink in our collection. All these iconic designs have been in use for more than half a century but are in exceptionally good condition. Quote from arch. Wilmink:
“Without children and pets in the house, it wasn’t that difficult to keep them in good condition. We have now transferred the valuable chairs with a long history to Galerie Van den Bruinhorst, who hopefully will find a good destination for them. We will miss them.”
Van de Groenekan marked this chair with his brand “HGM, G.A. v.d. GROENEKAN, DE BILT NEDERLAND”
Price on request