De Stihl, My Heart

This is called the Red and Blue chair (I don’t really see the blue, but whatever). It was designed by Gerrit Reitveld in 1917. Gerrit was a Dutch furniture designer and architect. I don’t know if they had chiropractors back then, but if they did I bet he had some kind of deal with them. Sure, it’s kinda cool to look at, but it sure doesn’t look very comfortable. Anyway, it’s an example of the De Stihl art movement. De Stihl is Dutch for The Style. It’s also known as Neoplasticism. The proponents of De Stihl sought to express a new utopian ideal of spiritual harmony and order. Personally, I don’t see how you get utopia out of a chair that looks like it was designed for scoliosis patients, but that’s just me.

It kind of looks like a Mondrian painting. Mondrian was the artist who inspired the Partridge Family to paint their bus the way that they did. If you don’t know who the Partidge Family is then, well, you need to watch more retro television.The PF was a fake family band that was on TV in the 70s.

Can you see the resemblance between the Neoplastic utopian chair and the bus. No? Well, it’s there.

According to the uber-fabulous and alway correct wikipedia (sarcasm), the Museum of Modern Art houses the chair in its permanent collection. It was a gift from Philip Johnson. Way back in 1930 he founded the Department of Architecture and Design at the MOMA. The chair also resides at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. I don’t know how you can be in two places at once, but apparently this chair can be.

The chair features several Rietveld joints. A Rietveld joint is an overlapping joint of 3 battens in the three orthogonal directions. I have no clue what orthogonal means.

Anyway, this is a Rietveld joint.

A┬áRietveld joint is also called a Cartesian node. I didn’t know what Cartesian node was so I looked it up. Every site that I went to had a bunch of graphs and junk that gave me flashbacks to those horrible math tests that I had to take in jr. high and totally sucked at. Math is not my thing. I wish it was/were (I forget which one to use), but it’s not. If it was/were, then I could make a fucking Neoplastic De Stihl Partridge Family Bus chair complete with Rietveld joints.

As if the Red and Blue chair wasn’t already fabulous and legendary enough, on May 13, 2008, while reportedly on loan to the Delft University of Technology Faculty of Architecture (it’s in the Netherlands) as part of an exhibition, a fire destroyed the entire building. But, however (drumroll please), the Red and Blue chair was saved by firefighters. My guess is that they must get Partridge Family episodes dubbed into Dutch over there, and some firefighter said, “OMG, hebben we bij de stoel die lijkt op de Partridge Family bus te redden”! (OMG, we’ve got to save the chair that looks like the Partridge Family bus!)

Anyway, I’m putting ‘finding that chair and sitting in it while the guards back is turned’ as one of the items on my ‘crap I’ll probably never do’ bucket list.