Thursday, June 24, 2010

You MUST Sit Down in a Rietveld Chair to View Picasso's First Paris Exhibition-

- Michelangelo hid anatomical sketches in Sistine Chapel in Church attack: "Michelangelo concealed anatomical sketches in the robes and faces of the figures he painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in a coded attack on the Church's disdain for science, researchers believe... read more-

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June 24, 1888: Dutch architect & designer Gerrit Rietveld was born. "One of the principal members of the Dutch artistic movement called De Stijl, Rietveld is famous for his Red and Blue Chair and for the Rietveld Schröder House, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rietveld was the son of a joiner and began work as an apprentice to his father. He afterwards set up in business as a cabinet-maker. Rietveld designed his famous Red and Blue Chair in 1917. In 1918, he started his own furniture factory, and changed the chair's colors after becoming influenced by the 'De Stijl' movement, of which he became a member in 1919, the same year in which he became an architect. He designed his first building, the Rietveld Schröder House, in 1924, in close collaboration with the owner Truus Schröder-Schräder. Built in Utrecht on the Prins Hendriklaan 50, the house has a conventional ground floor, but is radical on the top floor, lacking fixed walls but instead relying on sliding walls to create and change living spaces. The design seems like a three-dimensional realization of a Mondrian painting. Rietveld broke with the 'De Stijl' in 1928 and became associated with a more functionalist style of architecture known as either Nieuwe Zakelijkheid or Nieuwe Bouwen. The same year he joined the Congrès Internationaux d'Architecture Moderne. He designed the "Zig-Zag" chair in 1934 and started the design of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, which was finished after his death. He built hundreds of homes, many of which in the city of Utrecht. His work was neglected when rationalism came into vogue but he later benefited from a revival of the style of the 1920s thirty years later."

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June 24, 1901: 19 year old Pablo Picasso’s first Parisian art exhibition opened at the Vollard Gallery. "Like his friendship with Renoir, Vollard’s relationship with Picasso was one long-lived. It began in 1901 when the artist was nineteen. Vollard gave Picasso his first show (along with paintings by Francisco Iturrino) in Paris in 1901. Vollard did not think the exhibition was a success, but in fact many works did sell at low prices. Vollard purchased several important pieces from Picasso’s Blue and Rose periods in 1906, once American expatriate collectors Leo and Gertrude Stein began collecting the artist's works. In 1910, as Picasso’s Cubism developed into near abstraction, Vollard mounted a retrospective of his works from the previous decade, emphasizing his earlier periods. As Picasso’s reputation grew, Vollard continued to make regular purchases from the artist but never offered him a contract. Beginning in 1909, as Picasso sought to find a primary dealer, he painted portraits of leading candidates, such as Ambroise Vollard. Vollard called this portrait “notable” but nevertheless sold it to a Russian collector three years later. In the 1920s and 1930s, Vollard commissioned several livres d’artiste from Picasso. Through Vollard’s publications of bronzes, engravings, and illustrated books, Picasso became better known in Europe and the United States. Above all, it was the association, made possible through Vollard, of Picasso’s art with Cézanne’s that cemented Picasso’s reputation in the early 20th century." (from the catalog Cézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde, Art Institute of Chicago, 2007).

Ambroise Vollard by Pablo Picasso

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“Gebogenes Holz. Konstruktive Entwurfe Wien 1840-1910”

Published by the Kunstlerhaus Wien in 1979.

Modernism in chair design- the catalog to an exhibition of chairs by Michael Thonet, Adolf Loos, Otto Wagner, Kolo Moser, Josef Hoffman, Gustav Siegel, Josef Urban, Fritz Nagel, Marcel Kammerer and Anton Lorenz. German text.


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