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Thonet, Masterly Dutch

April 2017

An homage to Mondrian:
Karel Bodegom interprets desk S 1200  

Thonet is part of the special show “Masterly – The Dutch in Milano” during the Salone del Mobile.Milano 2017


The 100th anniversary of the Dutch De Stijl movement is also being celebrated during this year’s Salone del Mobile (4–9 April 2017) in Milan. The collective exhibition “Masterly – The Dutch in Milano” at the Palazzo Francesco Turati comprises several projects that deal with the anniversary and especially one of the De Stijl protagonists: Piet Mondrian. Inspired by Mondrian’s early abstract works, Dutch interior designer and designer Karel Bodegom presents three extraordinary interpretations of Thonet’s desk S 1200. He worked with rectangles of different sizes and materials as well as the primary colours red, yellow and blue – clear references to Mondrian’s artistic oeuvre.


Bodegom uses the desks as individual canvasses he decorated with the forms and colours that are characteristic of Piet Mondrian. The body of one of the desks made of veneered wood is painted with the typical Mondrian rectangles separated by lines made with printer ink. Fine, dark cherry wood surfaces establish a stylish contrast with light, natural and black rectangles. A light source below the compartment creates a special effect. On the second design, rectangles in the primary colours red, blue and yellow refer to the essence of Mondrian’s oeuvre. As with building blocks, the individual colours are also distinct due to individual heights. The third reinterpretation works with leather and wool felt, which provides the desk with a special haptic effect. Hinting at Mondrian’s introverted character, Bogedom also added a small door hiding a secret drawer to this design. In all three designs, the white tubular steel frame underscores the function of the desks as the neutral basis for the artworks.


As is characteristic for Bogedom’s work, he was inspired by the search for functionality, space and form and the intellectual movements of the era for this project. With its striking tubular steel frame, the small desk S 1200, developed in 2014 by Randolf Schott of the Thonet Design Team, represents the ideal “partner” for the Dutch designer’s project because first experiments of Thonet with the theninnovative material – tubular steel – in the 1920s and the heyday of the De Stijl movement are connected both chronologically and ideationally.


The desk S 1200 was inspired by the in-house Thonet collection of classic Bauhaus furniture and especially conceived for use as a workplace in private homes. Karel Bodegom appreciates both the openness of the designs and the easy and flexible handling of the desk: “I believe the S 1200 has the potential to be one of tomorrow’s design classics.”



Palazzo Francesco Turati

Via Meravigli 7

20123 Milano



Opening hours:

Tuesday, 04/04/2017: 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (opening cocktails from 6:00 p.m., upon invitation)

Wednesday, 04/05/2017: 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Thursday, 04/06 through Saturday, 04/08/2017: 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, 04/09/2017: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.



» DOWNLOAD PDF "Masterly - The Dutch in Milano"




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