International Decorative Art

Zig Zag Chair

Zig Zag Chair

Design Date 1933

Designer Gerrit Rietveld (1888-1964, Dutch)

Manufacturer Metz & Company, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Media pine wood

Dimensions 29 1/2 x 14 1/4 x 17 1/4 inches

Gerrit Rietveld’s Zig Zag Chair is composed of four rectangular planks of wood creating a Z-shape and two triangular blocks reinforcing the seat and foot. The visually cohesive design plays off of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Breuer’s cantilevered chairs but its use of a single material anticipated the popularity of single-piece plastic designs in the 1960s. The simplicity of construction and economy of materials made the Zig Zag Chair ideal for mass production, and variations with arms or perforated backs were produced until the 1950s. Rietveld’s Zig Zag Chair was inspired by De Stijl founder Theo van Doesburg, who thought “oblique” lines, which are neither parallel nor perpendicular, would resolve the tension between vertical and horizontal elements of a design.

ON VIEW in Bauhaus Gallery 5

Markings unmarked

Credit Line Collection Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art

Accession Number 2004.1958