I returned to the South Bank this week and enjoyed walking along the Thames and looking out towards St Pauls. Despite the grey and wet weather, I fitted in a few drawings.
After visiting the Stedlijk museum in Amsterdam and seeing Gerrit Rietvelds tiny model for the Rietveld Schroder house it was time to visit the real thing!
This stunning building stands in a residential area of Utrecht and is unmissable. Known more for his furniture design (and famous chair) Rietveld designed his first house in 1924 for Truus Schroder. My first thoughts from the outside were that the house looks like a Mondrian painting (which isn’t surprising as Rietveld was also part of the De Stijl group). The walls and floors are mainly painted in primary colours with grey, white and black. The interior and exterior design is very clever with intersecting panels and sliding walls separating rooms which can be opened up to create bright spaces. The wooden furniture is striking (although I would imagine not very comfy!) There’s so much attention to detail. Nothing is hidden. Even the radiators are a feature and the fuse box in full view as you enter the house. Fantastic to visit.
The Stedelijk museum, Amsterdam opened it’s doors a couple of weeks ago after years of renovations. It was my first trip on Saturday and had a great time. Busy but not overcrowded and enjoyed walking through the permanent collection featuring work from the 1870’s to the 1960’s. Among the highlights, large scale work by Chagall and artists by the Cobra Group. Really enjoying the wall paintings by Karel Appel and there’s a wonderful wall drawing by Sol Lewitt (2003). Colourful stripes running in different directions instantly uplifting visitors.
On the ground floor there’s also a Design collection featuring industrial design, graphic art and applied arts. The layout reminded me of the Copenhagen design museum. Great posters, furniture, ceramics and glass. The postwar modernism section particularly inspiring. Focus is international but there’s a particular emphasis on dutch influences notably work of the De Stijl group from the 1920’s. A personal favourite “Harrenstein Bedroom”, 1926, by Gerrit Rietveld.
Another highlight is the amazing tapestry in the entrance of the museum by Petra Blaisse and Marieke Van Den Heuvel. I assume made especially for the museum. Fits perfectly in the space.