In 1972, William Tucker (Cairo 1935) wrote that Rietveld is more of an artist than a furniture maker or architect. “The chair (…) in fact operates as the agent of abstract invention.” According to the Utrecht sculptor Ruud Kuijer (Schalkwijk 1959), this description is spot-on: Rietveld’s chairs are first and foremost sculptures. Each of his designs is a new starting point for an adventure with materials, proportions, strength and relationships. Kuijer’s vision on contemporary sculpture is informed by the same quest.

In the exhibition Works in dialogue. Kuijer & Rietveld in Utrecht Lokaal, Kuijer combines seven of Rietveld’s works with his own work: solid abstract constructions from the past 35 years. By presenting these as pairs, the works enter into a dialogue with each other, and the sculptural quality of Rietveld’s work becomes more pronounced.

In preparation for this exhibition, Kuijer travelled to the United States to visit Tucker in his home town of Ashley, Massachusetts. He discussed his combinations with the English-American sculptor and art historian, and recorded their discussion. Quotations from the discussion are shown on the walls, allowing us to examine the parallels between the works through Kuijer’s and Tucker’s eyes.