The presence in Weimar of Theo van Doesburg, co-founder of the De Stijl movement, and the design principles that he promoted influenced the development of the Bauhaus from 1921 at the very latest. The chair made in 1921 by Marcel Breuer and Gunta Stölzl displays distinct formal evidence of the principles of the Dutch art group. Everything about this chair is rectangular: backrest, seat, the cross-section of the chair legs; even the woven tapestry strips form squares or rectangles. The colours for this piece were also selected according to the De Stijl concept with a palette limited to red, blue and yellow enhanced by black, white and grey.
Siebenbrodt, Michael (Ed.): Bauhaus Weimar: Designs for the Future, Ostfildern-Ruit 2000.
For me learning about De Stijl, a group of artists, designers and architects, but also a magazine by the same name is part of uncovering the history of chair design. Therefore I’m sharing this find of the scans of the first 3 volumes of the magazine “De Stijl” by … the University Library of the University of Iowa.
De Stijl magazine was edited by Theo van Doesburg. Leiden, 1917-1932. In total 8 volumes with 90 numbers were published.
The print is from the hall of a Dutch holiday home designed by J.J.P. Oud with benches integrated in the structure of the hall.
Although Hendrik Petrus Berlage was not part of De Stijl as he was from a slightly older generation of architects, he must have influenced the members of De Stijl. He integrated a bench in a similar way in the The Hague City Museum of Modern Art (Gemeentemuseum Den Haag). Unfortunately The angle of my lens was not wide enough to capture both benches at once:-)
And thanks to this online gallery of the Guardian Theo van Doesburg comes to Tate Modern I can add a fourth chair known to be designed by Theo van Doesburg, shortly before his untimely death in 1931. The old photo of this chair thanks to the Netherlands Institute for Art History, which mentions the chair was for his studio in Meudon.