"Zigzag" Chair

Designed by Gerrit Thomas Rietveld, Dutch, 1888 - 1964. Made by the firm of Gerard van de Groenekan, Utrecht, Netherlands, 1924 - late 1980s.

Geography:
Made in Utrecht, Netherlands, Europe

Date:
Designed 1932-1933; made c. 1935

Medium:
Painted plywood

Dimensions:
31 9/16 x 14 15/16 x 16 inches (80.2 x 37.9 x 40.6 cm) Seat height: 19 inches (48.3 cm)

Copyright:
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Curatorial Department:
European Decorative Arts and Sculpture

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1995-65-1

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Fiske Kimball Fund and with funds contributed by Collab: The Group for Modern and Contemporary Design at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in honor of Eric B. Rymshaw, 1995

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Label:
As early as 1927 Gerrit Rietveld experimented with the idea of a one-piece chair. Rietveld regarded this "Zigzag" chair as a variation on one-piece construction, although in reality the chair is made of four pieces of wood. The absence of legs reflects the influence of the cantilevered chairs that had been introduced by a number of European designers in the 1920s. Despite the handcrafted appearance of much of his furniture, including the "Zigzag" chair, Rietveld was preoccupied throughout his career with the possibilities of standardization and mass production. It was not, however, until Verner Panton's stacking chair was put into production in 1968 that the idea of a one-piece chair was realized.