The Netherlands were almost continuously represented at the Venice Biennale since its origin in 1895. In the beginning the Dutch exhibited in the general exhibition hall. In 1913 the Netherlands took over the Swedish pavilion, and used this until 1952. In 1953 the architect Gerrit Rietveld was commissioned by the Dutch government to design a new and permanent pavilion in the Giardini di Castello. To this day this pavilion accommodates the Dutch entry at the Venice Biennale. The pavilion has always caught the imagination. When Willem Sandberg (then director of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam) saw the pavilion in 1954 he wrote a note to Rietveld saying:
‘dear Riet, this morning we were in your pavilion: it is perfect – you made a small space great. it is the most beautiful space I know.’
(Quoted from: The most beautiful space I know. The Netherlands Biennale Pavilion in Venice by Gerrit Rietveld, Uitgeverij 010 Publishers, Rotterdam, 1995.)
For information about the Rietveld Pavilion, please visit the website of the Foundation Rietveld Pavilion Venice.