Rietveld Chair

Sarah Charlesworth American

Not on view

The wood frame of Gerrit Rietveld’s famous red-and-blue chair was painted black, to match the walls of the De Stijl house for which it was designed. Against those dark walls, its planes of primary color would seem to float, rendering the chair itself almost transparent. Charlesworth recreates this trick on film: inverting the chair’s iconic form, she considers its legacy in absentia. It appears here in reverse silhouette, as an aperture through which other chairs are seen. A life-sized photographic negative of the chair, accented with yellow gels, lies atop this collage, and red and blue wood frames the piece. Transforming her camera into a critical tool, Charlesworth deconstructs the iconic image of the chair, undercutting its implicit equation of form and function.

#2093. Wall-Hanging with Tombstone Forms

Rietveld Chair, Sarah Charlesworth (American, East Orange, New Jersey 1947–2013 Hartford, Connecticut), Gelatin silver print with applied colored gels in custom lacquered frame

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.