THE STYJL
 

PROVENANCE

De Stijl magazine cover, 1917-1920, Edited by Theo van Doesburg

The provenance of this collection of functional works of art is the de Stijl movement of the early 1900s.

The de Stijl Movement

Early in the 20th century a loose-knit group of architects and artists began to publish a magazine called De Stijl (Dutch for “The Style”). Theirs was a utopian philosophical approach to aesthetics.

The founder and editor of the magazine and leader of the group was Theo van Doesburg, an architect. Van Doesburg was also a writer, poet, and critic, who had been more successful writing about art than working as an artist.

Construction of Volume Relations, 1921 by Georges Vantongerloo (MOMA)

The idea of sculpture based on the linear principles of de Stijl  was created with solid wood squares joined at right angles and was conceived by Georges Vantongerloo in his Construction of Volume Relations.

Red Blue Chair, 1923 by Gerrit Rietveld (MOMA)

This generalized concept was made real by the work of Gerrit Thomas Rietveld. His idea of furniture as sculpture is embodied in Red Blue Chair and Sideboard.

The most famous contributor to de Stijl was Piet Mondrian. He evolved a non-representational form which consisted of white ground, upon which was painted a grid of vertical and horizontal black lines and the three primary colors.

Composition with Yellow, Blue, and Red, 1937-42, Piet Mondrian (TATE)

Mondrian left Paris to live in London and, later, New York City where he lived until his death in 1944. There, he completed several works which he had begun in London and Paris. Artist and teacher, Ilya Bolotowski, was deeply influenced by his association with Piet Mondrian in New York City. Bolotowsky used the tenets of de Stijl – the use of horizontal and vertical geometric patterns and a palette restricted to primary colors and neutrals – as he began working in three-dimensional forms.

de Stijl's Influence on the SOHO Collection

Victor J. Cook, Jr., an art student at the University of Wyoming, studied under Bolotowski in the late 1950s. Adding controlled bursts of color in the form of glove-soft leathers, Cook has reinterpreted Reitvelt’s original Red Blue Chair. The result is the Sud Möbel Chair. It is the essence of structural simplicity in a fully functional sculpture. Some collectors have claimed it eliminates back pain!

The sixteen pieces for sale in Cook’s collection are original works of art, hand-crafted in solid hardwoods. The pieces are functional works of art steeped in the traditions of de Stijl and each with a history of its own.

Each frame is numbered, dated and signed with a hammer and metal stamps by the artist. All of the pieces in the collection can be constructed and deconstructed with only an Allen wrench, and are installed by the artist himself.

To commission a piece from the SOHO Collection, please contact Mr. Cook.

All Designs Patented. ©1973-2017 by Victor Cook. All Rights Reserved.