Gerrit Thomas Rietveld
Utrecht 1888 – 1964
Architect, furniture designer
This is probably one of the purest and most iconic designs; the Zig Zag chair designed by Gerrit Thomas Rietveld in 1934 and manufactured by Gerard van de Groenekan in 1973. Few chairs reach the fame like this chair and is most likely on of the greatest modern design chairs every created. It is a very important chair in modern design history, this rare and worldwide known Zig Zag chair designed by one of the most important modern architects and furniture makers, the world has known. The characteristic Z shape is the result of an architect who was always looking to minimize things and to search for constructive necessities. Originally, he intended to make the chair out of 1 piece, at the time with the lack of modern machines this seemed not possible. So, this eventual design was made of four plans screwed together with nuts and bolts. Where triangular wedges were added to maximize the strength. This chair was originally designed already in 1934, and it was way ahead of time. Only hand full of visionaries bought these chairs in the early days. Therefor early examples from the 30s and 40s are only to be found in a handful. During the fifties when Rietveld gained more recognition, he did more projects and the demand for his furniture also grew. Gerard van de Groenekan was the permanent furniture maker from Rietveld and besides a few prototypes he practically made every chair designed by Rietveld. The Zig Zag chair was produced by him between 1934 and ca. 1975. When Cassina took over the rights -to manufacture the zig zag chair in 1973, vd Groenekan still has some outstanding orders for these chairs. He was still allowed to make these chairs but only with the extra brand mark this chair has; Produced by permission of Cassina. So, this is basically one of the last of the first production of chairs by vd Groenekan. A very nice and collectible piece. This is one of the few chairs which is practically in every modern art and design museum over the world, we can sum them all up, but every museum has this chair. Hence the importance of its history.
Provenance: This pair of chairs comes from as set of 20 purchased by Architect van Dillen who did a lot of projects with Rietveld. Since vd Groenekan was very busy the order of 20 chairs was finished over 10 years’ time. This was the last chair they received. The chair is in fantastic original condition, and has the vd Groenekan brandmark on the undersides of the seats with the Cassina permission brandmark which is a nice addition to it.
Important Literature: Peter Vöge, the complete Rietveld Furniture, page 82/83, number 120.
Gerrit Th. Rietveld 1888-1964 Het volledige werk, Marijke Küper, Ida van Zijl (Utrecht, 1992)
|Type:||Zig Zag chair|
|Manufacturer:||Gerard v.d. Groenekan|
|Materials:||Solid elm, brass bolts|
|Condition:||Very good, original|
|Holland / Belgium:||€ Free|
|Europe:||€ 150 - 450|
|Outside Europe:||€ 500 - 750|