Wow, did I screw up. I completely forgot to mention that I finagled the rockers to go see yet another house with me while we were in Utrecht. It turns out Gerrit Rietveld designed a house here for Truus Schröder-Schräder in 1924 using all the principles of his loosely knit group, De Stijl. Unfamiliar with Rietveld and De Stijl? Well, that’s the roughly formed group that included Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg. They believed in linearity, simplicity and abstraction sticking mainly to straight horizontal and vertical lines and rectangles. Their color palettes consisted of black, grey and white and primary colors blue, yellow and red. So, this house is apparently the truest form of this ideology – imagine a Mondrian in 3-D. You know how everyone loves 3-D these days. Sadly, this UNESCO house is no TV, but it is pretty fantastic looking. You should check it out if you are ever in Utrecht – Rietveld Schröder House, Prins Hendriklaan 60, 3583 Utrecht, The Netherlands
1. Word on the street is that Mondrian left De Stijl when Theo van Doesburg dared to use green and diagonal lines in his paintings. Van Doesburg published a treatise that said it was actually better to use diagonals. Chaos ensued.
1. Did you know Dick Bruna was very influenced by De Stijl? Did you care? He’s the one that does all those cute little Miffy rabbits. At first I was all excited because the guy at the gift shop told me he was part of De Stijl but after a little detective work I found out Dick Bruna was born in 1927 and De Stijl essentially dissolved with the death of van Doesburg in 1931 – that would make Bruna a De Stijl-ist at the age of 4 max. How precocious! Then again, I suppose it wasn’t really a tightly formed group so I guess we can all be De Stijl-ists. Paramount De-Stijlist. Oh, but I kid.