Gerrit Thomas Rietveld's De Stijl in the early 20th century

February 13, 2023

Gerrit Thomas Rietveld's

De Stijl in the early 20th century

De Stijl was a Dutch art movement of the early 20th century that emphasized abstraction and simplicity through the use of geometric shapes and limited colors. Led by artists such as Piet Mondrian and architects such as Gerrit Thomas Rietveld, it had a lasting impact on modern art and architecture.

De Stijl was a Dutch art movement that emerged in 1917, led by a group of radical artists and architects. Proponents of De Stijl advocated pure abstraction and universality by a reduction to the essentials of form and colour. The artists and architects of De Stijl sought to simplify visual elements to basic geometric shapes such as vertical and horizontal lines, and to use only black, white, and primary colors in their work. This style was named Neoplasticism.

The word Neoplasticism is derived from the Greek word "neo" meaning "new" and "plastikos" meaning "to shape or mold." So, Neoplasticism literally means "the shaping or molding of something new." In the context of art, it refers to the movement's goal of creating a new visual language using geometric shapes and a limited color palette.

The artist Piet Mondrian (1872–1944) was one of the founders of De Stijl. His paintings illustrates the group's strict and clear artistic language. Gerrit Thomas Rietveld (1888–1964), Dutch architect and furniture designer, was one of the principal members of De Stijl movement. Rietveld is famous for his Red Blue Chair (1918) as well as for the Schröder House in Utrecht, designed in total harmony with the guidelines of neoplasticism. The house is today an Unesco World Heritage Site and a museum open to public.

Designer of the month
Axel Larsson

Axel Larsson worked for 30 years as a furniture designer for Swedish manufacturer Svenska Möbelfabrikerna i Bodafors. As an interior architect Larsson worked on a.o. the Gothenburg concert hall and for the UN building in New York.

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