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Sitting is
a Verb

Kramer vs Rietveld

SMCS Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (NL)

One of the opening exhibitions of the temporary location of the Stedelijk Museum on Oosterdokskade is a magnificent presentation of the museum’s furniture collection. Extensive selections of the work of Piet Kramer and Gerrit Rietveld form the focal point of this overview.

Amsterdam (NL)
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
1200 m2
Mark de Jong, Herman Kossmann, Jos Kuppens

Kramer vs Rietveld shows both of these designers as pioneers of their time, despite their totally contrasting styles. You can see how they both worked with a rich use of colour: Rietveld principally with the primary colours red, yellow and blue and Kramer with the secondary colours orange, green and purple which is much less well-known. Unusual objects from both designers can be seen, such as Kramer’s grand piano and a complete bedroom suite by Rietveld. A special place in this exhibition is given to furniture by Piet Kramer, never previously exhibited, that was recently restored and can be seen at this exhibition for the very first time.


The exhibition comprises two sections, from the point of view of both content and spatial elements. One section focuses on a ‘confrontation’ between furniture designs by Kramer and Rietveld. Here the space has been transformed into a series of peep-shows. The other part of the exhibition also shows contrasts, but then in the furniture collection of the museum as a whole. In contrast with the passage with peep-shows, the collection here is presented as one entity. Another important element of the presentation is formed by projections on both long walls. Here you can see excerpts from feature films in which chairs play an important role. Through the combination of violence, eroticism and humour, this exhibition ensures that the collection is spotlighted in a dynamic and stimulating context.